Definition of ketch in English:



  • A two-masted, fore-and-aft-rigged sailboat with a mizzenmast stepped forward of the rudder and smaller than the foremast.

    • ‘In 1982, the writer Jonathan Raban set out in a 30-foot ketch to sail round the British Isles.’
    • ‘Later he chartered a ketch and took paying student sailors to South America.’
    • ‘A classic yacht or ketch costs about the same, holding 12 to 40 people.’
    • ‘Robert Rae is the only person with sailing experience aboard the Weaver, the 42-foot ketch that is battling its way up the west coast of Bute.’
    • ‘In the coolness of early morning, the Venezuelan ketches tie up close to the town centre, tip their sails across the sidewalk to provide shade, and establish a floating market.’
    • ‘If you have to, hire a ketch to cross the Irish channel.’
    • ‘His ketch sank, however, and he soon found himself back at the bar, no longer as the owner but as barman under new manager Rebecca Howe.’
    • ‘He used to skipper the ketch that used to take the supplies from Beagle Bay to Broome.’
    • ‘A motorsailer ketch can be sailed or powered by its motor.’
    • ‘Recently, a 92-foot ketch lost control in a lock, was spun 180 degrees by the current and had to be towed out of the lock backwards.’
    • ‘He has become one of the foremost mineral collectors in the world, and in the summer of 1987 he and two other mathematicians sailed his 43 foot ketch from San Francisco Bay to the Marquesas and back.’
    • ‘In 1987 Henry Cooper literally sailed into retirement on a spiffy, 50-foot ketch that he called the Palmyra.’
    • ‘The steel-hulled ketch was left lying on her side, with the deck guard rails lying almost on the sand.’
    • ‘Whale research scientists and documentary teams are the primary users of the ketch.’
    • ‘For those born and bred on the coast, rushing seas are de rigueur, and they think nothing of a squall that puts their ketch over to port 45 degrees.’
    • ‘Contact had been lost with the yacht on September 6, but sweeps of the sea failed to spot the crew or the ketch, a converted fishing boat, which is believed to have sunk.’
    • ‘We were aboard the Falie, a 46m ketch that was going to be our warm and stable abode for the days to come.’
    • ‘The dual-mast, steel-hulled ketch pulls hard against its moorings, like a getaway car revving its engine.’
    • ‘He has also created commissioned paintings of sailing yachts, including Walter Cronkite's sailing ketch.’
    • ‘The research vessel, a century-old 60-foot gaff-rigged ketch, looks more like it belongs to Barbary pirates than to contemporary scientists.’


Mid 17th century: later form of obsolete catch, probably from catch.