verb (used without object)
to make efforts to vomit.
verb (used with object)
to vomit.
the act or an instance of retching.

1540–50; variant of reach, Old English hrǣcan to clear the throat (not recorded in ME), derivative of hrāca a clearing of the throat; compare Old Norse hrǣkja to hawk, spit

retch, winch, wrench, wretch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
retch (rɛtʃ, riːtʃ)
1.  (intr) to undergo an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting; heave
2.  to vomit
3.  an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting
[Old English hrǣcan; related to Old Norse hrǣkja to spit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1548, originally "to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm," from O.E. hræcan "to cough up, spit" (related to hraca "phlegm"), from P.Gmc. *khrækijanan (cf. O.H.G. rahhison "to clear one's throat"), of imitative origin (cf. Lith. kregeti "to grunt"). Meaning "to make efforts to vomit" is from
1850; sense of "to vomit" is first attested 1888.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

retch (rěch)
v. retched, retch·ing, retch·es
To try to vomit.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
We hauled him, shaking and retching, onto the ledge.
Mouths opened wide, retching with horror and consternation.
Meconium in stomach is hypothesized to act as an irritant and cause vomiting and retching.
The hills are alive with the sound of my retching.
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