\ ˈdich How to pronounce ditch (audio) \

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

With Louisville leading 7-4, Indianapolis made a last-ditch effort to close the gap. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "Bats end latest home stand with a bang against the Indianapolis Indians," 3 July 2019 During talks in Vienna Friday, European countries still party to the deal made a last-ditch effort to persuade Iran to back off from plans to breach the limit. Parmida Mahalli And Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "Iran exceeds uranium caps set by nuclear deal, Fars News Agency reports," 1 July 2019 His trip to New York was seen as a last-ditch effort to keep Durant. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Stephen Curry Was on a Plane From China to See Kevin Durant When Nets News Broke," 1 July 2019 Making a last-ditch effort to tie it in stoppage time LA squeezed the ball through all 11 men back for the Rapids. Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post, "Tim Howard’s sweet swan song in Rapids shocking win over LAFC," 29 June 2019 The comments by Brian Hook came as European countries made a last-ditch effort to prevent Iran from breaching the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal, a move that could add to soaring tensions in the Persian Gulf. Loveday Morris, BostonGlobe.com, "US tells Europe: Choose between us and Iran," 28 June 2019 His comments came as European countries made a last-ditch effort to prevent Iran from breaching the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, a move which could add to soaring tension in the Persian Gulf. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "U.S. tells Europe: Choose between us or Iran," 28 June 2019 The meeting is widely viewed as a last-ditch effort to get negotiations back on track before Mr. Trump moves forward with new 25% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports. William Mauldin, WSJ, "Hopes for Resolving U.S.-China Trade Fight Hinge on Trump and Xi," 26 June 2019 In the waning days of World War II, a last-ditch effort to shoot down American bombers ravaging Germany took to the skies—and promptly crashed. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet 'The Natter,' Nazi Germany's Wooden Rocket Plane," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But two of the biggest, Britain’s offshore territories and America, are also moving in the direction of ditching secrecy. The Economist, "The war on money-launderers’ vehicle of choice intensifies," 29 June 2019 During a three-week trial, the teen from Northeast Baltimore had admitted to smoking pot and wandering Canton looking for unlocked cars to steal, then to ditching the murder weapon and later to lying to detectives. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Mistrial declared on murder charges against Baltimore teen accused of killing Sebastian Dvorak," 20 June 2019 But despite the nature of the listing, Slack’s decision to go with a direct listing over the traditional IPO stirs up questions on Wall Street—including the viability of ditching underwriters (and their standard 180-day lockups) altogether. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "4 Things Investors Need to Know About Slack's Direct Listing," 19 June 2019 Along with ombré baby blonde hair that swung over shoulders in blown out bohemian layers—making the case for ditching any and all dramatic chops this season—came black eyeliner applied in individual fashion. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Behati Prinsloo Has the Simplest Trick for Cool-Girl Eyeliner," 6 June 2019 Meghan Markle is getting ready for fall by ditching her signature royal hairstyle. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Just Ditched Her Signature Curls," 24 Sep. 2018 Another requirement was to make the engine run so smoothly by ditching the two balance shafts that conventional inline-fours have to balance out vibrations. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "How Infiniti's Variable-Compression Engine Works," 16 July 2018 So instead of leaving things to chance, King decided to tag along on a road trip with two software engineers, a college professor and a lawyer, who all ditched their airlines, rented a car, and decided to make the nearly 10-hour drive back to Maine. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "'You got to be spontaneous': Sen. Angus King takes road trip with four strangers," 21 June 2019 The boys then ditched their guns and changed their clothes, before stealing an SUV in St. Louis Park later that night and burglarizing a pair of cellphone stores, the juvenile petition said. Nick Woltman, Twin Cities, "2 teens charged with fatally shooting driver in attempted Minneapolis carjacking," 17 June 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

8 Jul 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 How to pronounce ditch (audio) \

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

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