Definition of notch in English:



  • 1An indentation or incision on an edge or surface.

    ‘there was a notch in the end of the arrow for the bowstring’
    • ‘The swords are measured to ascertain that they are of equal length, and in no case must a sword with a sharp edge or a notch be allowed.’
    • ‘After making what I thought was a good assessment of the radio, I placed the broken metal saw blade on top of the screw and started grooving a notch into the screw head.’
    • ‘Black vine weevil adults chew irregular notches on the edges of hosta leaves.’
    • ‘When you insert a key, the series of notches in the key push the pin pairs up to different levels.’
    • ‘The circuit boards comprise a notch in the top edge which receives a corresponding projection.’
    • ‘Each lobster is marked with a notch in the tail then released back into the sea.’
    • ‘A notch or hole cut out specifically to fit a full mortise lock; it cannot be removed from the door by force.’
    • ‘Spring loaded, it securely locks into one of a series of notches when released.’
    • ‘Remove all dust from crevices and notches and then lightly rub the entire surface with a soft flannel cloth.’
    • ‘There are two pry points on the leading edge of fuel-cell panels that are marked with notches cut in the corners of the panel, but this fact is not described in the procedures.’
    • ‘Its wooden surfaces were covered in thin notches.’
    • ‘Almost like pavers covered with notches and dents, they bear the roughness of a worked and worn surface.’
    • ‘She paused and crouched, running her fingers along the edge of one of the circular prints with an angled notch in the front.’
    • ‘He swept his hands up and down the smooth sides, trying to find a notch or groove.’
    • ‘Fold the fabric in half and cut a 2-inch notch into the folded edge.’
    • ‘Owners of hogs and cattle could be identified by unique patterns of notches and holes cut in the animals' ears.’
    • ‘They turned and then stopped in a recessed notch behind an outcropping along the wall.’
    • ‘A rotary cutter can be used on straight edges, but use scissors for small curves and notches.’
    • ‘These are most often marked with snips or notches in the seam allowance.’
    • ‘The keystones also fit into notches carved in the large round stone, and prevented it from moving.’
    hollow, depression, dent, dint, cavity, concavity, dip, pit, trough, crater
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    1. 1.1 Each of a series of holes for the tongue of a buckle.
      ‘he tightened his belt an extra notch’
      • ‘But I guess it's time for me to put another notch in my belt buckle.’
      • ‘I grunted out while loosening my belt a couple notches.’
      • ‘After unbuckling my belt by a notch or two I was ready for my dessert - vanilla ice-cream covered with Bailey's Irish Cream.’
      • ‘My first indication that I'm going to need to let out my belt a couple of notches comes at the hotel's raclette and fondue evening.’
      • ‘Second, you can always try to wear your belt a notch tighter - that is, assuming it's comfortable.’
      • ‘Prepare to loosen your belt a few notches because cream and butter are added to everything and the food is irresistible.’
      • ‘After logging many miles and uncinching our belts a few notches, we made a list of favorites.’
      • ‘On the positive side, I tried on my kilt again after weighing myself, and found that it fit comfortably again, albeit with the buckles at their loosest notches.’
      • ‘It's really only been in recent months that people have been tightening their belts by a notch or two and, to my mind, there's little room for complacency yet.’
    2. 1.2 A nick made on something in order to keep a score or record.
      figurative ‘I didn't want to be just another notch on Nathan's bedpost’
      • ‘I think he craves the attention and the thrill of the chase more than carving notches on his belt.’
      • ‘He had cut notches into the wooden surface of the longbow, counting how many foes he had slain with the weapon; so far there were forty-nine marks.’
      • ‘As long as you made it by the time the guy in charge reached your name, you received a notch on the stick used to record your presence.’
      • ‘Shopkeepers and traders used wooden sticks with deep notches cut in them to keep their accounts.’
      • ‘He had several notches on his bedpost that he was to this day quite proud of.’
      • ‘As the glamour boy of the country's glamour club, Manchester United, he had everything: abundant talent, money, looks and a never-ending supply of leggy blondes willing to be notches on his bedpost.’
      • ‘Carved notches may refer to the number of days before or after a particular event; the number of groups involved; or items needed for ceremonial purposes.’
      • ‘They kept its age by cutting a notch in a stick each day.’
      • ‘They are just sewer rats who have never done anything themselves or won anything themselves, and they just want to put a notch on their belt.’
      • ‘I refused to be the fourth notch in his belt, the fourth girl he'd slept with.’
      • ‘You've now got two hard-earned notches on your belt, one for making it through the introductory phase, another for surviving three months of mass accumulation.’
      • ‘In the Middle Ages these were known as ‘clog almanacs’, made of metal, wood or horn, with notches and symbols marking the lunar months and the church feast days.’
      • ‘Columbia can add a notch to its belt for another well produced and fully armed disc that is well designed and executed.’
      • ‘Surrender now or I'll add you and your boys to the notches on my belt!’
      • ‘The England manager, naturally, is much more discreet and gentlemanly in his replies, refusing to count the bedpost notches or pass an opinion on his partners' motivations.’
      • ‘We had a watch, too, and we marked off the days with notches on the side of the boat, like prisoners do in jail.’
      • ‘This attention to home and hearth is a major shift in gear for me and comes at the same time as yet another notch is carved on the bedpost of life.’
      • ‘‘This figure is all the more disturbing when one reflects on how many notches on a belt this represents,’ she said.’
      • ‘All this happened at a time when the pro-team players were being asked to add new notches to their belts on a daily basis.’
      • ‘And the number of notches on your bedpost does not necessarily make you a better lover.’
      nick, cut, mark, incision, score, scratch, gash, slit, snick, slot, gouge, groove, furrow, cleft, indentation, dent
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    3. 1.3 A point or degree in a scale.
      ‘her opinion of Nicole dropped a few notches’
      • ‘Then of course, there were the school rivalries, when everything heated up an extra notch and bodies were put on the line.’
      • ‘Second single ‘No Good Advice’ is a response to critics and meddling do-gooders, and is guaranteed to turn the Girls' story several notches louder.’
      • ‘King of Happiness will have to step up his performance a couple of notches to win tomorrow, but this handsome colt seems to have all the credentials to do just that.’
      • ‘The lights suddenly dimmed and the pre-recorded music kicked up an extra notch.’
      • ‘Activities have continued apace both on and off the field over the past few months, marking another series of positive notches in the development of the club.’
      • ‘It's my intention to drive the county, working with the community, up an extra notch.’
      • ‘If she can ratchet her performance up a notch or two, there's no reason why she couldn't be one of the four.’
      • ‘So my heterosexual male readers are merely invited to recall the most exotically beautiful woman they've ever seen and imagine her two or three notches better-looking.’
      • ‘If he swings enough minds with this piece, who knows, maybe the worship of the electronic musician that marks our era may be taken down a notch.’
      • ‘Petrov's burgeoning running power and growing sangfroid when presented with openings which his fizzing forwards have engineered have allowed him to ratchet up his game several notches over the past six months.’
      • ‘But when he needed that little bit extra, when he needed to raise his game an extra notch to impose himself on the fifth set, he could not do it.’
      • ‘They are going to have to step up this latest performance however by several notches, and in truth one has to seriously question their ability to do so.’
      • ‘Based on what we did see, though, it's a good bet that she has taken her performance up a notch for this round.’
      • ‘Having fun with the argument just edged it up a notch.’
      • ‘We want to enhance our lending by a couple of notches during the coming years.’
      • ‘Birds chirped, flapping in the swaying trees as the breeze picked up a notch.’
      • ‘She brought a hint of fast-set glamour to what was, essentially, a conventional, English, posh-girl style and, since then, Liz Hurley and Jemima Khan have ratcheted it up another few notches.’
      • ‘At times we have a tendency to lower our workrate but we stepped it up two or three notches on Tuesday night and it showed.’
      • ‘The profile of the label jumped up a couple of notches over that period, reflected in a week-long 10th anniversary party held in downtown Toronto in '86.’
      • ‘Nonetheless the threat level has gone up an extra notch.’
      degree, step, level, rung, point, mark, measure, grade, gradation, stage
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  • 2North American A deep, narrow mountain pass.

    • ‘Short sections of dirt roads connect trails that usually wind through notches.’
    route, way, road, narrow road, passage, cut, gap, gorge, canyon, ravine, gully, defile, col, couloir
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  • 1Make notches in.

    ‘notched bamboo sticks’
    • ‘Each flower has six erect round petals that are notched.’
    • ‘Here I am, just over sixty, and I feel like the Grim Reaper already has me notched on his stick.’
    • ‘Every serious hiker will want to notch this one up on their walking stick.’
    • ‘She assembles a bow with a string on it, and sharpens a cylindrical spindle of lime wood, then inserts it into a notched hole in a flat piece of wood she holds with her foot.’
    nick, cut, mark, score, incise, carve, engrave, scratch, gash, slit, slot, snick, gouge, groove, furrow, indent, make an indentation in, dent
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    1. 1.1 Secure or insert by means of notches.
      ‘she notched her belt tighter’
      • ‘Half the arrows were notched as the second dragon burst from nowhere.’
      • ‘She sheathed her swords and notched an arrow onto the string of her bow.’
  • 2Score or achieve (something)

    ‘he notched up fifteen years' service with the company’
    • ‘Kerry were regularly in trouble throughout the opening 20 minutes as the slick moving Meath forwards notched some sweet scores.’
    • ‘In the second half Tullamore brought on Stephen McEvoy as sub and he notched a further two goals for Tullamore.’
    • ‘Kieren Fallon, who completed a treble and notched his 100th winner of the season at Chester yesterday, should add to his tally at Bath.’
    • ‘Duffy notched his 17th goal of the season assuredly from the resultant penalty kick.’
    • ‘Ronald de Boer notched one in the seventh minute.’
    • ‘Blackpool Scorpions notched their first away win of the season against a good attacking Leigh team.’
    • ‘Culhane, who notched his 1,000th winner in 2005, teams up with Newmarket trainer William Haggas in both races.’
    • ‘It normally takes between four to six years to achieve this but it was notched up by John in just 15 months.’
    • ‘Between there and the end, Freeman notched a further three points with substitute James Judge also getting on the scoresheet.’
    • ‘The New Zealand-born full-back notched a remarkable scoring treble of his own with his late spate of tries deciding the error-strewn match.’
    • ‘York Acorn starlet Ryan Gallacher notched his 100th try of the season as his under-8s team beat Eastmoor Dragons by ten tries to two.’
    • ‘The landmark comes just two weeks after the 30-year-old notched his 3,000th international run.’
    • ‘However, Carlyle notched the decisive final try with 13 minutes left and Carling's fifth goal made the game safe.’
    • ‘The home crowd then went into overdrive as James Clark notched a further goal to establish a deserved 13-5 half-time lead.’
    • ‘On a bumpy water-based pitch, the aerial pass from the back proved a useful weapon and it was from this route that Nick Bluett was able to notch his 14th goal of the season.’
    • ‘He had since notched a few notable victories and heralded his arrival back at the top flight by winning the national half marathon title in Castlebar.’
    • ‘Mick Fitzgerald, who notched his first Catterick success yesterday on Cambrian Dawn, has the mount.’
    • ‘A family of snooker players have just notched their half century of trophies - and their ages only just add up to half that total.’
    • ‘Having won all their pool matches Yorkshire faced Cheshire in the semi-finals and notched a 3-0 victory.’
    • ‘The last million was notched up in just six months as 6,000 punters a day sign up to broadband.’
    score, achieve, attain, secure, rack up, chalk up, gain, earn, make, register, record
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Mid 16th century: probably from Anglo-Norman French noche, variant of Old French osche, of unknown origin.