• WordNet 3.6
    • v ditch cut a trench in, as for drainage "ditch the land to drain it","trench the fields"
    • v ditch crash or crash-land "ditch a car","ditch a plane"
    • v ditch make an emergency landing on water
    • v ditch sever all ties with, usually unceremoniously or irresponsibly "The company dumped him after many years of service","She dumped her boyfriend when she fell in love with a rich man"
    • v ditch throw away "Chuck these old notes"
    • v ditch forsake "ditch a lover"
    • n ditch a long narrow excavation in the earth
    • n ditch any small natural waterway
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Careful excavation was required to identify the fill of long-obliterated ditches once draining fields and marking property boundaries Careful excavation was required to identify the fill of long-obliterated ditches once draining fields and marking...
Splash! Splash! They Fell Into the Ditch Splash! Splash! They Fell Into the Ditch
Pig in a ditch Pig in a ditch
William, holding the baby and talking to the boys in the ditch William, holding the baby and talking to the boys in the ditch

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1388, English Parliament banned waste disposal in public waterways and ditches.
    • Ditch A trench made in the earth by digging, particularly a trench for draining wet land, for guarding or fencing inclosures, or for preventing an approach to a town or fortress. In the latter sense, it is called also a moat or a fosse.
    • Ditch Any long, narrow receptacle for water on the surface of the earth.
    • Ditch To dig a ditch or ditches in; to drain by a ditch or ditches; as, to ditch moist land.
    • v. i Ditch To dig a ditch or ditches.
    • Ditch To surround with a ditch.
    • Ditch To throw into a ditch; as, the engine was ditched and turned on its side.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ditch A trench made by digging; particularly, a trench for draining wet land, or for making a barrier to guard inclosures, or for preventing an enemy from approaching a town or a fortress. In the latter sense it is also called a foss or moat, and is dug round the rampart or wall between the scarp and the counterscarp. See cut under castle.
    • n ditch Any narrow open passage for water on the surface of the ground.
    • ditch To dig or make a ditch or ditches: as, ditching and delving; hedging and ditching.
    • ditch To dig a ditch or ditches in; drain by a ditch: as, to ditch moist land.
    • ditch To surround with a ditch.
    • ditch To throw or run into or as if into a ditch: as, to ditch a railway-train.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ditch dich a trench dug in the ground: any long narrow receptacle for water
    • v.i Ditch to make a ditch or ditches
    • v.t Ditch to dig a ditch in or around: to drain by ditches
    • ***


  • Henry David Thoreau
    “What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.”
  • Bible
    “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
  • Marshall Mcluhan
    “Good taste is the first refuge of the non creative. It is the last ditch stand of the artist.”
  • Calvin Coolidge
    “If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that 9 will run into the ditch before they reach you.”
  • Patrick Dennis
    Patrick Dennis
    “Writing isn't hard. It isn't any harder than ditch-digging.”
  • Philip Dormer Stanhope
    Philip Dormer Stanhope
    “The young leading the young, is like the blind leading the blind; they will both fall into the ditch.”


Across the ditch - (NZ) This idiom means on the other side of the Tasman Sea, used to refer to Australia or New Zealand depending on the speaker's location.
Last-ditch - A last-ditch attempt is a desperate attempt that will probably fail anyway.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. dich, orig. the same word as dik,. See Dike


In literature:

Woffington was forced to turn the barrow into the ditch.
"Young Hilda at the Wars" by Arthur Gleason
It had taken a year's work and nearly all their meagre capital to level it and dig the water ditches.
"The Desert Fiddler" by William H. Hamby
Now and then Mac fell into a ditch or creek.
"Frank of Freedom Hill" by Samuel A. Derieux
I have had a talk with Whinnie, otherwise Whinstane Sandy, who has been ditching at the far end of our half-section.
"The Prairie Mother" by Arthur Stringer
By draining, the peat settles, especially on the borders of the ditches, several inches, or even feet, according to its nature and depth.
"Peat and its Uses as Fertilizer and Fuel" by Samuel William Johnson
They then tramped on for another mile or two, ate a good meal, hid themselves in a dry ditch, and instantly dropped asleep.
"Two Daring Young Patriots" by W. P. Shervill
Then I turned my eyes to the huge seaman on the opposite side of the ditch.
"Athelstane Ford" by Allen Upward
At night confine yourself as much as possible to low ground, ditches, etc.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
The old house was cleaned and painted, the ditches were cleared and fruit trees planted.
"What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales" by Hans Christian Andersen
It is as pleasant as lying in a wet ditch.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen

In poetry:

Shaw's father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his "niggers."
"For the Union Dead" by Robert Lowell
See you our stilly woods of oak,
And the dread ditch beside?
O that was where the Saxons broke
On the day that Harold died.
"Puck's Song" by Rudyard Kipling
He kept me fertilized and tiled,
With ditches deep and wide,
And never let the floods run wild,
Nor stream it down my side.
"Joe's Farm" by Samuel Alfred Beadle
"Their gay robes trailed in ditch and swamp,
And torn by thorn and thicket,
The dancing-girls of Merry Mount
Came dragging to my wicket.
"A Spiritual Manifestation" by John Greenleaf Whittier
We trenched, we trumpeted and drummed,
And from our mortars tons of iron hummed
Ath'art the ditch, the month we bombed
The Town o' Valencieën.
"Valenciennes" by Thomas Hardy
More than a crown, now 'twill not cost,
The value of a single sheep,
Which in some ditch may soon be lost,
Whilst nightly storms the mountains sweep.
"Advice To Hear, And To Read, The Word Of God" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Maryland Department of Environment makes it easier — and cheaper — to ditch your dirty old mower.
Road crews are cleaning out culverts and ditches near Durango a day after a mud slide hit land scorched by the Missionary Ridge wildfire.
Southridge High School music teacher Robert Hawthorne is mounting a last ditch effort to get the Beaverton School District to slice more than five days from the calendar and use the savings to cut fewer teachers.
It wasn't a particularly good offseason for the college basketball mustache, as at least two coaches ditched their longtime facial hair in favor of the clean-shaven look.
LA's parade of stars ditches Princeton offense.
Noyes Slough isn't much to look at these days, but a lot of people in Fairbanks hold out the dream that it could be more than a watery ditch.
Renault says that it will not be afraid to ditch the forward-facing exhaust concept that it pioneered if a new rear design proves to be better.
The Olmsted County Sheriff's Department said the car vaulted off the road into the ditch.
My boyfriend ditched me last month without any explanation or discussion.
After vote, Idaho ed board ditches online classes.
Princeton Public Works Director Bob Gerold looks over the new oxidation ditches at the expanded Princeton city wastewater plant last Friday.
New map service pales in comparison to ditched Google Maps.
This month, we'll hit a quartet of recent restaurant arrivals near the already competitive culinary intersection of 86th Street and Ditch Road.
Ditching the paper cup .
Even though Mariah Yeater's lawyers ditched her and she withdrew her paternity lawsuit against Justin Bieber, the 20-year-old is not going gentle into that good night.

In science:

A choice for Dojo which supports all web graphics technologies would have meant ditching the Prototype & Script.aculo.us combination, learn Dojo and rewrite all the code that we had written up to that point.
Analysis of Using Browser-native Technology to Build Rich Internet Applications for Image Manipulation
The array pixels are electrically separated each other by 50-µm-wide, 30-µm-deep grid-shape ditches on the back surface.
Monolithic Ge:Ga Detector Development for SAFARI
Also in the situation where along the curve defined by (4.11) the deep ditch of the potential exists, the inflation ends on the curve (4.11).
Manifestly gauge invariant theory of the nonlinear cosmological perturbations in the leading order of the gradient expansion