"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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 notches
  • They alight, grow, and flower on branches or in the notches of fallen trees.
  • Dogs are unhitched and tied to notches cut in the ice.
  • Add notches to the cylinder so that it can roll one way but not the other and randomly shake the thing back and forth.
  • Some programs rise up to the top, some stay there, and some drop down a few notches to make room.
  • Now in every investors' mind the euro-bond has been downgraded a couple of notches.
  • These two ligaments convert the sciatic notches into foramina.
  • To me, his art is one or two notches above flower arranging for the village hall.
  • First one sees geometry: a circle framed by a rotated square, in the top and bottom of which are triangular notches.
  • On stone corner monuments marks termed notches and grooves are used to convey the information.
  • The set of rings means two rings with one ring with internal notches and one ring with external notches.
British Dictionary definitions for notches


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 notches



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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notches 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 notches


  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 notches


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