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poach1

[pohch] /poʊtʃ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to trespass, especially on another's game preserve, in order to steal animals or to hunt.
2.
to take game or fish illegally.
3.
(of land) to become broken up or slushy by being trampled.
4.
(in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) to play a ball hit into the territory of one's partner that is properly the partner's ball to play.
5.
Informal. to cheat in a game or contest.
verb (used with object)
6.
to trespass on (private property), especially in order to hunt or fish.
7.
to steal (game or fish) from another's property.
8.
to take without permission and use as one's own:
to poach ideas; a staff poached from other companies.
9.
to break or tear up by trampling.
10.
to mix with water and reduce to a uniform consistency, as clay.
Origin of poach1
1520-1530
1520-30; earlier: to shove, thrust < Middle French pocher to gouge < Germanic; akin to poke1
Related forms
poachable, adjective

poach2

[pohch] /poʊtʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cook (eggs, fish, fruits, etc.) in a hot liquid that is kept just below the boiling point.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English poche < Middle French pocher literally, to bag (the yolk inside the white), derivative of poche bag (French poche pocket) < Middle Dutch poke poke2
Related forms
poachable, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for poach
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is some fellows drawing the river; they poach under his very windows, and he never sees them.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • poach them gently in a greased frying-pan, or saut pan, for ten minutes.

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • If you poach on my manor here, I shall kill you Phil; so gare vous!

  • Have some rich stock boiling in a stewpan; poach the ravioli five minutes.

    Choice Cookery Catherine Owen
  • Other boys' instincts led them to poach a trout out of a stream, and rejoice in their success if they were not caught.

    The Hearts of Men H. Fielding
  • A pretty pass of impudence to be coming that distance to poach.'

    The Heir of Redclyffe Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Moisten with beaten egg; roll into small balls and poach in boiling water.

    The Century Cook Book Mary Ronald
  • Begin a' the bread 'n' butter whiles I poach 'e a couple of eggs.

    In Quest of Gold Alfred St. Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for poach

poach1

/pəʊtʃ/
verb
1.
to catch (game, fish, etc) illegally by trespassing on private property
2.
to encroach on or usurp (another person's rights, duties, etc) or steal (an idea, employee, etc)
3.
(tennis, badminton) to take or play (shots that should belong to one's partner)
4.
to break up (land) into wet muddy patches, as by riding over it, or (of land) to become broken up in this way
5.
(intransitive) (of the feet, shoes, etc) to sink into heavy wet ground
Word Origin
C17: from Old French pocher, of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch poken to prod; see poke1

poach2

/pəʊtʃ/
verb
1.
to simmer (eggs, fish, etc) very gently in water, milk, stock, etc
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pochier to enclose in a bag (as the yolks are enclosed by the whites); compare poke²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for poach
v.

"steal game," 1520s, "to push, poke," from Middle French pocher "to thrust, poke," from Old French pochier "poke out, gouge, prod, jab," from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German puchen "to pound, beat, knock," German pochen, Middle Dutch boken "to beat") related to poke (v.). Sense of "trespass for the sake of stealing" is first attested 1610s, perhaps via notion of "thrusting" oneself onto another's property, or perhaps from French pocher "to pocket" (see poach (v.2)). Related: Poached; poaching.

"cook in liquid," early 15c., from Old French poché, past participle of pochier (12c.), literally "put into a pocket" (as the white of an egg forms a pocket for the yolk), from poche "bag, pocket," from Frankish *pokka "bag," from Proto-Germanic *puk- (see poke (n.)). Related: Poached; poaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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