Etymology
Advertisement

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

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of retch from WordNet
1
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
2
retch (n.)
an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting;
Synonyms: heave
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.