\ 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

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of ditch in a Sentence

Noun He drove the car into the ditch. after skidding on the ice, our car went right into the ditch Verb 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 Since the 1970s, the photographer has captured the culture of skateboarding in drainage ditches, empty pools and asphalt streets. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: How L.A. photographer George Rodriguez chronicled every corner of the city," 17 Oct. 2019 This all-natural brand, also loved for its deodorant and body wash, leans on ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, and ditches harsh preservatives and artificial scents. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Natural Products for Your Dopp Kit," 17 Oct. 2019 In July 2018, 29-year-old Heather Zabrowski of Olympia saw a burning car in a ditch beside the road. Ryan Blethen, The Seattle Times, "Maple Valley man, Olympia woman awarded Carnegie Medal for heroism," 24 Sep. 2019 On Friday, two more bodies were found — one of a man found in a ditch north of Houston, Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Jason Spencer said. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Death Toll Rises to 5 in Texas After Tropical Storm Imelda and Historic Rainfall," 22 Sep. 2019 After the concrete ditch was replaced with native plants and a more pond-like system, flooding has been much less of an issue. Samantha Harrington, Scientific American, "How Extreme Weather Threatens People with Disabilities," 18 Sep. 2019 Tips for being trapped while on foot include going to an area clear of vegetation, look for a ditch or depression in the ground, lie face down and cover your body, and call 911. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Experts share tips for surviving a fire," 17 Sep. 2019 But that's not all: the flower beds disguise a ditch and filtration system that captures water and slowly releases it back into the river; synthetic turf absorbs water, too. CBS News, "Storm-resistant parks are helping cities defend themselves against flooding," 17 Sep. 2019 Sugarcane is a notoriously thirsty crop, so the enslaved dug irrigation ditches and changed the course of rivers to feed the new fields. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Caribbean excavation offers intimate look at the lives of enslaved Africans," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Vanessa Morgan For one night only, Vanessa Morgan ditched the world of Riverdale and embraced all things Disney. Teen Vogue, "Best Celebrity Halloween Costumes 2019," 28 Oct. 2019 The singing competition ditched the faceoffs for week four when Flamingo, Leopard, Black Widow, Skelton, Thingamajig and Butterfly gave their second performances of the season. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "The Masked Singer," 16 Oct. 2019 Ariel Winter isn't timid about spicing up her hair color — in fact, just a few months ago the actress ditched her dark brown strands for a bold, fiery red hue. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Ariel Winter Just Debuted Red Hair on Law and Order: SVU, and Fans Barely Recognized Her," 4 Oct. 2019 On Wednesday, Trump responded in a rambling, low-energy news conference from the United Nations, which all three broadcast networks ditched their usual programming for to take live. Washington Post, "Trump, the TV president, finally meets a media story he can’t control," 28 Sep. 2019 Looks like Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner ditched their paper party hats for their black-tie best. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner Looked Dashing at His 007-Themed Birthday Party," 19 Aug. 2019 Plus, what kind of marketing employee could just decide to ditch work for a week at a moment’s notice? Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "This viral “surprise” proposal shows the less glamorous side of influencing," 20 June 2019 A few years later, when the NFL team ditched St. Louis for Greater Los Angeles, forlorn fans turned their lonely hearts to the Blues. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres can take heart from Blues in post-NFL St. Louis," 14 June 2019 Even as some Americans are driving less or ditching cars altogether, for many commuters an auto is a costly but burdensome necessity. The Christian Science Monitor, "Seeing red in unfair green deals," 20 May 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

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for ditch

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

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More Definitions for ditch


How to pronounce ditch (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ditch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ditch

Spanish Central: Translation of ditch

Nglish: Translation of ditch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ditch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ditch

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