Definition of botch in English:

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Pronunciation: /bɒtʃ/


[with object]
Carry out (a task) badly or carelessly: he was accused of botching the job (as adjective botched) a botched attempt to kill them
More example sentences
  • We must have botched the first task, because we've certainly bungled the second.
  • I am useless when it comes to subterfuge or breaking rules and I botched the entire mission right royally.
  • But the police have also been accused of badly botching the investigation.
bungle, do badly, do clumsily, make a mess of, mismanage, mishandle, mangle, fumble
informal mess up, make a hash of, hash, muff, fluff, foozle, butcher, bodge, make a botch of, foul up, bitch up, screw up, blow, louse up
British informal make a muck of, make a pig's ear of, cock up, make a Horlicks of
North American informal flub, goof up, bobble
vulgar slang fuck up, bugger up, balls up


(also botch-up) A bungled task: I’ve probably made a botch of things
More example sentences
  • There's no room for any more botch-ups.
  • 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.
mess, fiasco, debacle, blunder, failure, wreck
informal hash, bodge, flop, foul-up, screw-up, fail
British informal cock-up, pig's ear
North American informal snafu
vulgar slang fuck-up, balls-up



Pronunciation: /ˈbɒtʃə/
Example sentences
  • The poem's indictment of Thetis as a botcher continues through her account of her failure to fully immortalize her son.
  • This guy was a rookie and a botcher.
  • And check that there really is a metal, boxed keep; it's not unknown for a botcher to just make a hole in the wood of the frame and leave it at that.


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

  • The first meaning of botch was simply ‘to repair’, with no implication of clumsiness or lack of skill. By the early 17th century it seems to have taken on its modern meaning, and Shakespeare's use of the noun in Macbeth (c.1603) makes this clear: ‘To leave no rubs nor botches in the Work.’ Bodge (mid 16th century) is the same word as botch, but always had the negative meaning. The origin of the word is unknown.

Words that rhyme with botch

blotch, crotch, notch, outwatch, scotch, splotch, swatch, topnotch, watch

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: botch

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