A long narrow trench or furrow dug in the ground, as for irrigation, drainage, or a boundary line.
v. ditched, ditch·ing, ditch·es
1. To dig or make a long narrow trench or furrow in.
2. To surround with a long narrow trench or furrow.
a. To drive (a vehicle) into a long narrow trench, as one beside a road.
b. To derail (a train).
a. To get rid of; discard: ditched the old yard furniture.
b. To get away from (a person, especially a companion).
c. To discontinue use of or association with: ditch the job at the hamburger stand.
d. To skip (class or school).
5. To crash-land (an aircraft) on water.
1. To dig a ditch.
2. To crash-land in water. Used of an aircraft or a pilot.
[Middle English dich, from Old English dīc; see dhīgw- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.