verb (used with object)

  1. to bring forth (young) from the egg.
  2. to cause young to emerge from (the egg) as by brooding or incubating.
  3. to bring forth or produce; devise; create; contrive; concoct: to hatch a scheme.

verb (used without object)

  1. to be hatched.
  2. to brood.


  1. the act of hatching.
  2. something that is hatched, as a brood.


  1. to cause (the young of various animals, esp birds) to emerge from the egg or (of young birds, etc) to emerge from the egg
  2. to cause (eggs) to break and release the fully developed young or (of eggs) to break and release the young animal within
  3. (tr) to contrive or devise (a scheme, plot, etc)


  1. the act or process of hatching
  2. a group of newly hatched animals


  1. a covering for a hatchway
    1. short for hatchway
    2. a door in an aircraft or spacecraft
  2. Also called: serving hatch an opening in a wall between a kitchen and a dining area
  3. the lower half of a divided door
  4. a sluice or sliding gate in a dam, dyke, or weir
  5. down the hatch slang (used as a toast) drink up!
  6. under hatches
    1. below decks
    2. out of sight
    3. brought low; dead


  1. art to mark (a figure, shade, etc) with fine parallel or crossed lines to indicate shadingCompare hachure


  1. informal short for hatchback

“to produce young from eggs by incubation,” from Middle English hachen (early 13c.), probably from an unrecorded Old English *hæccan, of unknown origin, related to Middle High German, German hecken “to mate” (used of birds). Meaning “to come forth from an egg” is late 14c. Figurative use (of plots, etc.) is from early 14c. Related: Hatched; hatching.


“opening,” Old English hæc (genitive hæcce) “fence, grating, gate,” from Proto-Germanic *hak- (cf. Middle High German heck, Dutch hek “fence, gate”). This apparently is the source of many of the Hatcher surnames; “one who lives near a gate.” Sense of “plank opening in ship’s deck” is first recorded mid-13c. Drinking phrase down the hatch first recorded 1931.


“engrave, draw fine parallel lines,” late 14c., from Old French hachier “chop up, hack” (14c.), from hache “ax” (see hatchet). Related: Hatched; hatching. The noun meaning “an engraved line or stroke” is from 1650s.

see batten down the hatches; count one’s chickens before they hatch; down the hatch.

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