verb (used without object)
- to make efforts to vomit.
verb (used with object)
- to vomit.
- the act or an instance of retching.
- (intr) to undergo an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting; heave
- to vomit
- an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting
1540s, originally “to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm,” from Old English hræcan “to cough up, spit” (related to hraca “phlegm”), from Proto-Germanic *khrækijanan (cf. Old High German rahhison “to clear one’s throat”), of imitative origin (cf. Lithuanian kregeti “to grunt”). Meaning “to make efforts to vomit” is from 1850; sense of “to vomit” is first attested 1888. Related: Retched; retching.
- To try to vomit.