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[hach-wey] /ˈhætʃˌweɪ/
Nautical. hatch2 (def 1a).
the opening of any trap door, as in a floor, ceiling, or roof.
Origin of hatchway
1620-30; hatch2 + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hatchway
Historical Examples
  • He was forced, with all haste, down the hatchway into the hold.

    Twelve Years a Slave Solomon Northup
  • The hatchway was closed, and the order to man the capstan was given a third time.

    Down the Rhine Oliver Optic
  • Frank ran into the turret, while Mr. Martin and the quarter-master dived down the hatchway, and ran up into the pilot-house.

    Frank Before Vicksburg Harry Castlemon
  • My head came within six inches of the band which surrounds the hatchway.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • The apartment in which they meet is a low room on the ground floor, and is entered only by a hatchway and ladder.

    A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff
  • One of the sailors reported the deck-length from hatchway to stern-post.

  • Because, sticking my head out the hatchway for a taste of air, I heard the rascal captain prattling with the scoundrel mate.

    The Road to Paris Robert Neilson Stephens
  • Sentries were placed at the cabin door, forecastle and hatchway.

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
  • He, also, had felt the draft of hot stuffy air that rushed out at the opening of the hatchway.

    Sube Cane Edward Bellamy Partridge
  • “Green, do you look after the hatchway,” said Pearson to the other man who had escaped.

    Tales of the Sea W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for hatchway


an opening in the deck of a vessel to provide access below
a similar opening in a wall, floor, ceiling, or roof, usually fitted with a lid or door
Often shortened to hatch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hatchway

1620s, originally nautical, from hatch (n.) + way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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