perch 1[purch] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for perch on noun

  1. a pole or rod, usually horizontal, serving as a roost for birds.
  2. any place or object, as a sill, fence, branch, or twig, for a bird, animal, or person to alight or rest upon.
  3. a high or elevated position, resting place, or the like.
  4. a small, elevated seat for the driver of any of certain vehicles.
  5. a pole connecting the fore and hind running parts of a spring carriage or other vehicle.
  6. a post set up as a navigational aid on a navigational hazard or on a buoy.
  7. British.
    1. a linear or square rod.
    2. a measure of volume for stone, about 24 cubic feet (0.7 cubic meters).
  8. Textiles. an apparatus consisting of two vertical posts and a horizontal roller, used for inspecting cloth after it leaves the loom.
  9. Obsolete. any pole, rod, or the like.

verb (used without object)

  1. to alight or rest upon a perch.
  2. to settle or rest in some elevated position, as if on a perch.

verb (used with object)

  1. to set or place on or as if on a perch.
  2. to inspect (cloth) for defects and blemishes after it has been taken from the loom and placed upon a perch.

Origin of perch 1 1250–1300; Middle English perche Old French Latin pertica pole, staff, measuring rodRelated formsperch·a·ble, adjectiveun·perched, adjective perch 2[purch] noun, plural (especially collectively) perch, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) perch·es.

  1. any spiny-finned, freshwater food fish of the genus Perca, as P. flavescens (yellow perch), of the U.S., or P. fluviatilis, of Europe.
  2. any of various other related, spiny-finned fishes.
  3. any of several embioticid fishes, as Hysterocarpus traski (tule perch) of California.

Origin of perch 2 1350–1400; Middle English perche Middle French Latin perca Greek pérkē Related Words for perch alight, squat, seat, lounge, pole, branch, post, roost, land, light, rest, settle, balance Examples from the Web for perch Contemporary Examples of perch

  • I crossed the room with my rifle up, stood on top of the bed, and from my perch looked down at bin Laden.

    I Shot Bin Laden

    Elliot Ackerman

    November 16, 2014

  • Luckily for Goodell, he’ll have plenty of money if he were to be forced off the commissioner’s perch.

    Roger Goodell’s TV Disaster Shows What’s Wrong With The NFL

    Lloyd Grove

    September 19, 2014

  • Jack Welch, who took over General Electric in 1981, left his perch in 2001, not long after he turned 65.

    Don’t Count Rupert Murdoch Out Yet: Why The Magnate Hasn’t Given Up on Time Warner

    Daniel Gross

    July 16, 2014

  • Day after day, Lou sat on the Yankee bench, a perch that increasingly represented his security.

    The Stacks: The Day Lou Gehrig Delivered Baseball’s Gettysburg Address

    Ray Robinson

    July 4, 2014

  • Catcoin And so explains the birth of Catcoin, the latest creation hell-bent on knocking its canine counterpart off its perch.

    Dogecoin, Coinye, & Catcoin: A Dummy’s Guide to Cryptocurrencies

    Charlotte Lytton

    January 19, 2014

  • Historical Examples of perch

  • To prepare it in this way, secure a perch and scale and clean it.

    Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3

    Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • He rang the bell, went into the park, and ran along the avenue to the perch.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • From my perch I could see the sullen heavy walls of a ridge.

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930


  • “Devil take you, fool,” snapped Gonzaga, thrusting him roughly from his perch.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Stan looked down upon the killers from his perch in the sky.

    A Yankee Flier Over Berlin

    Al Avery

  • British Dictionary definitions for perch perch 1 noun

    1. a pole, branch, or other resting place above ground on which a bird roosts or alights
    2. a similar resting place for a person or thing
    3. another name for rod (def. 7)
    4. a solid measure for stone, usually taken as 198 inches by 18 inches by 12 inches
    5. a pole joining the front and rear axles of a carriage
    6. a frame on which cloth is placed for inspection
    7. obsolete, or dialect a pole


    1. (usually foll by on) to alight, rest, or cause to rest on or as if on a perchthe bird perched on the branch; the cap was perched on his head
    2. (tr) to inspect (cloth) on a perch

    Derived Formspercher, nounWord Origin for perch C13 perche stake, from Old French, from Latin pertica long staff perch 2 noun plural perch or perches

    1. any freshwater spiny-finned teleost fish of the family Percidae, esp those of the genus Perca, such as P. fluviatilis of Europe and P. flavescens (yellow perch) of North America: valued as food and game fishes
    2. any of various similar or related fishes

    Related formsRelated adjective: percoidWord Origin for perch C13: from Old French perche, from Latin perca, from Greek perkē; compare Greek perkos spotted Word Origin and History for perch n.1

    “where a bird rests,” late 13c., originally only “a pole, rod, stick, stake,” from Old French perche “unit of linear measurement” (5.5 yards), also “measuring rod, pole, bar” used to measure this length (13c.), from Latin pertica “pole, long staff, measuring rod,” related to Oscan perek “pole,” Umbrian perkaf “twigs, rods.” Meaning “a bar fixed horizontally for a hawk or tame bird to rest on” is attested from late 14c.; this led to general sense of “any thing that any bird alights or rests on” (late 15c.). Figurative sense of “an elevated or secure position” is recorded from 1520s. The “land-measuring rod” sense also was in Middle English (c.1200), hence surviving meaning “measure of land equal to a square lineal perch” (usually 160 to the acre), mid-15c.


    “spiny-finned freshwater fish,” c.1300, from Old French perche, from Latin perca “perch,” from Greek perke “a perch,” from PIE root *perk- “speckled, spotted” (cf. Sanskrit prsnih “speckled, variegated;” Greek perknos “dark-colored,” perkazein “to become dark”), typically in names of animals.


    “to roost,” late 14c., from Old French perchier “to sit on a perch” (of a bird), from perche (n.) (see perch (n.1)). Related: Perched; perching.

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