Definition of botch in English:



[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Carry out (a task) badly or carelessly.

    ‘he was accused of botching the job’
    ‘a botched attempt to kill them’
    • ‘All his enemies somehow must botch their attempts to kill him.’
    • ‘Last weekend's conference was a botched attempt to clear the decks for such a platform.’
    • ‘The task might have been botched by a less savvy salesperson, who might have treated it like just another sales call.’
    • ‘This bill attempts to deal with some of those problems, and some of those attempts represent completely botched jobs.’
    • ‘If they are trying to make Mary the central figure, they are certainly botching the attempt.’
    • ‘We must have botched the first task, because we've certainly bungled the second.’
    • ‘Now, of course, you're talking about botched jobs by those surgeons, or they may not indeed be surgeons.’
    • ‘He faces 20 allegations including drinking alcohol while on call, botched surgery and bungled use of equipment.’
    • ‘But Microsoft's launch has been badly botched on this and other measures.’
    • ‘But the police have also been accused of badly botching the investigation.’
    • ‘And the few cases where the government had real evidence have been badly botched.’
    • ‘It was the government that so badly botched the rescue operations.’
    • ‘Another possibility is that it intended to provide a warning, but botched the job.’
    • ‘It will face some difficulties, not least because it has been, and will probably continue to be, so badly botched by so many along the way.’
    • ‘He zips past at such a clip that I totally botch an attempted photo, which would only be a blur of U.S. Postal Service blue anyway.’
    • ‘Who could have known the administration would botch it so badly?’
    • ‘The stupid thief labeled the bag in a permanent marker, one of those botched jobs that I'm sure she'll regret.’
    • ‘Her blonde hair may be a slightly botched job from a dodgy salon in Cannes, but she doesn't like her roots showing.’
    • ‘I am useless when it comes to subterfuge or breaking rules and I botched the entire mission right royally.’
    • ‘But leave it to me to botch the one botch-proof task of a sportswriter.’
    bungle, do badly, do clumsily, make a mess of, mismanage, mishandle, mangle, fumble
    View synonyms


  • A bungled task.

    ‘I've probably made a botch of things’
    • ‘As long as he doesn't break a leg or Ferrari doesn't make a huge botch of the 2003 car, then there's nothing to stop him.’
    • ‘Thus, if we get a regional assembly, it will simply be former county officers and politicians that end up running it and their power for botch-ups will simply be increased.’
    • ‘The Saltires are doing a fantastic job against the counties just now, and the last thing Scottish cricket needs is a botch-up like this.’
    • ‘Like all reshuffles, last week's will prove a botch.’
    • ‘There were so many botch-ups by the Opposition when it was in Government, but scrapping the Apprenticeship Act had to be the worst.’
    • ‘It's disconcertingly riddled with inconsistent spellings, clunky syntax and other editing botches.’
    • ‘Sheep farmers have been struggling really hard and we do not need a botch-up of this sort to affect the sales we have got at the moment.’
    • ‘I'm not going to say that you've made such a monumental botch-up of this parliament that it has damaged the Labour Party, Scotland, and the whole United Kingdom.’
    • ‘The 28-year-old Scot, who started fifth on the grid at the 1.5-mile circuit near Tokyo, was left rueing the botch-up, which he believes cost him the first oval win of his career.’
    • ‘Does the prospect of laboratory botch-ups during the engineering of bio-electrolysis bacteria worry you?’
    • ‘To expect Parliament to rush through complex legislation of this sort will result only in botch-ups, more amendments, and more problems in the administration of this important area of law.’
    • ‘In a classic botch-up, the grass at the River Plate Stadium had been liberally sprinkled with sea water, the grass dying in the heat.’
    • ‘Soccer shoots-out make good theatre, too often arriving after highly-paid players have made a total botch of getting a result.’
    • ‘He owes it to Parliament to get his legislation right, and not to continuously expect ratepayers to pick up the bill for his botch-ups.’
    • ‘A Canvey teacher stranded in Australia because of a bureaucratic botch has made the dramatic decision to stay there for good.’
    • ‘Sadly, the implementation process has been a saga of one botch-up after another.’
    • ‘Something tells us that the remake is going to be a botch.’
    • ‘There's no room for any more botch-ups.’
    mess, fiasco, debacle, blunder, failure, wreck
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘repair’ but originally not implying clumsiness): of unknown origin.