\ ˈdich \

Definition of ditch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long narrow excavation dug in the earth (as for drainage)


ditched; ditching; ditches

Definition of ditch (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to surround with a long narrow cavity in the earth : to enclose with a ditch (see ditch entry 1) The pasture was hedged and ditched.
b : to dig a ditch in
2 aviation : to make a forced landing of (an airplane) on water successfully ditched the plane
3a : to get rid of : discard ditch an old car had to ditch their plan
b : to end association with : leave ditched school His girlfriend ditched him.

intransitive verb

1 : to dig a ditch
2 aviation : to crash-land at sea

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Synonyms for ditch

Synonyms: Noun

dike, fosse (or foss), gutter, sheugh [chiefly Scottish], trench, trough

Synonyms: Verb

blow off, break off (with), dump, jilt, kiss off, leave

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Examples of ditch in a Sentence


He drove the car into the ditch. after skidding on the ice, our car went right into the ditch


The thief ditched the purse in an alley. They ditched the car in a vacant lot. They ditched me at the concert.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The trapper was part of a crew loading the animal onto the back of a pickup truck after capturing it in Ocoee, Florida, when the gator made one last-ditch effort to free itself. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Florida alligator head-butts officer attempting to capture him," 6 June 2018 The sheriff's office said the ditch where the victim was found had been flooded for more than a week and the water had just receded. Fox News, "The Latest: Red Cross says housing could be hard to find," 25 Sep. 2018 Over the next 2,500 to 4,000 years, the settlements themselves fell into ruin, and eventually farmers plowed the embankments flat and filled in the ditches with topsoil. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 An insurance salesman spotted the vehicle, a 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, in the ditch at about 11:20 a.m. and called 911, according to the Sentinel-Tribune. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "2 Ohio teens found dead in vehicle in water-filled ditch," 22 Mar. 2018 Police said 911 callers began reporting the accident at approximately 2:10 a.m. The heavily damaged vehicle was found off the roadway, beyond the ditch and against a tree, police said. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Icy roads were a factor in fatal Chesterfield Twp. crash of New Haven man," 18 Feb. 2018 Prosecutors Melissa Saenz and Kristina Escalona argued that Cerna was lured to a motel with the promise of drugs or money and then was taken to the ditch and killed in retaliation for a killing that did not involve Cerna. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio man accused in 2015 ‘Hell’s Gate’ killing found guilty of murder," 12 Jan. 2018 Most take taxis or shuttle buses to the end of a road in Perry Mills, N.Y., and then walk across a small ditch toward Canadian police officers who have been stationed on the other side of the border. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Trudeau Faces Growing Doubts Over Canada’s Refugee Policy," 3 Aug. 2018 But American soldiers forced Thuan and her two daughters, ages 5 and 3, into a small irrigation ditch along with hundreds of neighbors. Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, "50 years after My Lai massacre, survivors remember: 'I had to climb over so many bodies'," 15 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gigi Hadid just gave you a reason to ditch skinny jeans for good and spend the rest of your life in sweatpants. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Gigi Hadid Designed an Athleisure Clothing Line With Reebok and It's SO Freaking Cute," 4 Feb. 2019 Meaning Ian mad the big boy decision to ditch Scotland and make a life in America. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 7 Biggest Reveals from Outlander Season 4 Episode 3," 19 Nov. 2018 Or on Maeve’s decision to ditch her protectors and approach her old house alone, which causes a long series of problems. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Question Club: What do we want from Westworld season 3?," 2 July 2018 Those looking to ditch their day jobs and start an online business that’s more than a side hustle can tune into a webinar with Regina Renaye, who founded her own virtual assistant business, Anywhere Admin. Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Weekend business agenda," 29 June 2018 In the United States of now, that alone would be enough to brand the end of the swimsuit competition a conspiracy of Islamic terrorists, a trick to force American women to ditch their bikinis and hide their beautiful bodies. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "The Feminist Future of Modesty," 12 June 2018 Her interminable stems were only surpassed by that of her of supreme confidence, inspiring even the most winterized New Yorkers to (possibly!) ditch the Wolfords this month. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Céline Dion's Bombshell Leg Reveal Is the Winter Inspiration We Need Now," 22 Jan. 2019 This year, Vans expands the line with two new offerings, including the UltraRange Gore, which ditches shoelaces for three elastic bands. Outside Online, "The Best Travel Shoes of 2018," 15 May 2018 The same goes for shellfish like mussels and clams—use the shells, ditch the meat. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Start Composting," 8 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ditch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ditch


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for ditch

Noun and Verb

Middle English dich, from Old English dīc dike, ditch; akin to Middle High German tīch pond, dike

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Statistics for ditch

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ditch

The first known use of ditch was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ditch



English Language Learners Definition of ditch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long narrow hole that is dug along a road, field, etc., and used to hold or move water



English Language Learners Definition of ditch (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : to stop having or using (something you no longer want or need) : to get rid of (something)
informal : to end a relationship with (someone)
US, informal : to get away from (someone you do not want to be with) without saying that you are leaving


\ ˈdich \

Kids Definition of ditch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long narrow channel or trench dug in the earth


ditched; ditching

Kids Definition of ditch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get rid of : discard He ditched the old car.
2 : to end a relationship with She ditched her friends.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ditch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ditch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ditch

Spanish Central: Translation of ditch

Nglish: Translation of ditch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ditch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ditch

What made you want to look up ditch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a servile follower or underling

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