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[noch] /nɒtʃ/
an angular or V -shaped cut, indentation, or slit in an object, surface, or edge.
a cut or nick made in a stick or other object for record, as in keeping a tally.
New England and Upstate New York. a deep, narrow opening or pass between mountains; gap; defile.
Informal. a step, degree, or grade:
This camera is a notch better than the other.
Metallurgy. a taphole in a blast furnace:
iron notch; cinder notch.
verb (used with object)
to cut or make a notch in.
to record by notches:
He notched each kill on the stick.
to score, as in a game:
He notched another win.
notch up / down, to move up or down or increase or decrease by notches or degrees:
The temperature has notched up another degree.
Origin of notch
1570-80; a notch (by false division) for an *otch < Old French oche notch
Related forms
notchy, adjective
unnotched, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for notched
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the left waves the notched guidon used by both the cavalry and light artillery.

    The Civil War Through the Camera Henry W. (Henry William) Elson
  • On each side of the fire a notched stick was driven into the ground.

  • He had spread it on a flat stone; then, putting a compass on the middle of it, he moved a notched brass ring round the instrument.

    Johnstone of the Border Harold Bindloss
  • The whole of the pegs are notched, for the convenience of attaching a line.

    Practical Taxidermy Montagu Browne
  • Here the rocks were notched and uneven, and he found a spot where he could drop a distance of fifteen feet in safety.

    Dave Porter in the Far North Edward Stratemeyer
British Dictionary definitions for notched


a V-shaped cut or indentation; nick
a cut or nick made in a tally stick or similar object
(US & Canadian) a narrow pass or gorge
(informal) a step or level (esp in the phrase a notch above)
verb (transitive)
to cut or make a notch in
to record with or as if with a notch
(usually foll by up) (informal) to score or achieve: the team notched up its fourth win
Word Origin
C16: from incorrect division of an otch (as a notch), from Old French oche notch, from Latin obsecāre to cut off, from secāre to cut
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 notched



1570s, probably a misdivision of an otch (see N for other examples), from Middle French oche "notch," from Old French ochier "to notch," of unknown origin. Said to be unconnected to nock.


1590s, from notch (n.). Earlier verb (before misdivision) was Middle English ochen "to cut, slash" (c.1400). Related: Notched; notching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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notched in Medicine

notch (nŏch)

  1. An indentation at the edge of a structure; an incisure.

  2. An upstroke or peak on a pulse tracing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for notched



  1. To score; achieve: a pacy serve that's notched a few aces in its time (1623+)
  2. To do the sex act •Use attributed to volleyball players: Guys don't fuck, they notch (1970s+)

Related Terms

notchery, top-notch

[first sense fr use of the term in cricket, and influenced by the cowboy tradition of filing a notch in the handle of one's pistol for each man killed]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with notched


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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