retch (v.)

1540s, "to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm" (a sense now obsolete), from Old English hræcan "to cough up, spit" (related to hraca "phlegm"), from Proto-Germanic *khrækijan (source also of Old High German rahhison "to clear one's throat"), of imitative origin (compare Lithuanian kregėti "to grunt"). Meaning "make efforts to vomit" is from 1850; sense of "to vomit" is attested by 1888. Related: Retched; retching.

updated on July 26, 2021

Definitions of retch from WordNet
retch (v.)
eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth;
Synonyms: vomit / vomit up / purge / cast / sick / cat / be sick / disgorge / regorge / puke / barf / spew / spue / chuck / upchuck / honk / regurgitate / throw up
retch (v.)
make an unsuccessful effort to vomit; strain to vomit;
Synonyms: gag / heave
retch (n.)
an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting;
Synonyms: heave
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