\ 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

Jim Sewell, a retired preservation architect, was swept away by floodwaters and drowned after his vehicle got stuck in a ditch on Madison’s Southwest Side. Chris Hubbuch, chicagotribune.com, "Another deluge like 2018 would bring ‘deep trouble’," 19 Aug. 2019 The driver then veered across Stokes and into a ditch on the west side of the road, authorities said. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "12-year-old in critical condition after being ejected from pickup during crash near Waller," 5 July 2019 Ivan Dario Puga-Moreno of Montemorelos, Mexico, is accused of driving a vehicle that was found in a ditch near Robstown on Wednesday. Editors, USA TODAY, "NBA finals, Mexico tariffs and Southern Baptist meeting: 5 things you need to know Monday," 10 June 2019 Marek’s previous cats had been found – in a ditch, on the side of an expressway, in an apartment complex laundry room. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Cats’ quirks? Read about breeds," 27 June 2018 After police began a pursuit, the driver lost control and drove into a ditch on the 18500 block of Cleveland Avenue. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Juveniles in stolen car flee police, crash in ditch," 20 June 2018 Accompanied in the car by his young son and daughter, Thomas crashed into a ditch on Dwyer Road and had to be extracted by first-responders before he and his children were taken to a hospital for treatment, Henry said. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Former New Orleans councilman Oliver Thomas arrested for traffic offenses," 1 June 2018 Conditt ran into a ditch on the side of the road, and SWAT officers approached, banging on his window. Jim Vertuno And Will Weissert, BostonGlobe.com, "Austin bomber’s motive still unknown, despite recovered video, police say," 22 Mar. 2018 Conditt ran into a ditch on the side of the road, and SWAT officers approached, banging on his window. Bloomberg.com, "Austin Bombing Suspect Blows Himself Up as SWAT Moves In," 21 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pittsburgh then decided to ditch its running game, which gained 24 yards the entire game, and rely on quarterback Kenny Pickett. Scooby Axson, SI.com, "Penn State Leaves Questions in Surviving Sloppy Affair With Rival Pitt," 14 Sep. 2019 More importantly, the region will serve as the archetype of a new kind of neighborhood, one where people of varying income levels will want to ditch their cars, take the trolley and live near their jobs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Can Mission Valley handle 50,000 more residents?," 8 Sep. 2019 In that respect, ditching US Treasuries could be counterproductive. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "China has a $1 trillion trade war weapon. Will it ever use it?," 7 Aug. 2019 So, while less-upscale retailers can afford to ditch or shrink their lavish flagships, Barneys simply can’t. Sarah Halzackbloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Barneys bankruptcy proves luxury retailers aren’t immune to industry turmoil," 6 Aug. 2019 The company wants coupon clippers who use the program to earn cash for schools to ditch their scissors for smartphones General Mills said in a news release. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Skip the clip: Box Tops for Education goes digital," 30 July 2019 On the one end there’s Gyllen (Whitehead), a temperamental if spirited English loner who decided to ditch his mom and stepdad during their Moroccan holiday, taking the family RV along with him. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Roads': Film Review," 30 July 2019 Spring hopes that other restaurants will follow its lead and ultimately compel suppliers to ditch SUP entirely, too. Nick Levine, refinery29.com, "This Restaurant Just Cut Out All Single-Use Plastic," 14 July 2019 Up next, Airside Mobile is finalizing a biometric product that will allow travelers to ditch boarding passes and IDs altogether. Natalie B. Compton, Twin Cities, "Pssst. Mobile Passport is the best-kept secret in air travel.," 14 July 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

2 Sep 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

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).


to spread over or through

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