- See under perch2(def 1).
noun, plural (especially collectively) perch, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) perch·es.
- any spiny-finned, freshwater food fish of the genus Perca, as P. flavescens (yellow perch), of the U.S., or P. fluviatilis, of Europe.
- any of various other related, spiny-finned fishes.
- any of several embioticid fishes, as Hysterocarpus traski (tule perch) of California.
- a pole, branch, or other resting place above ground on which a bird roosts or alights
- a similar resting place for a person or thing
- another name for rod (def. 7)
- a solid measure for stone, usually taken as 198 inches by 18 inches by 12 inches
- a pole joining the front and rear axles of a carriage
- a frame on which cloth is placed for inspection
- obsolete, or dialect a pole
- (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
- (tr) to inspect (cloth) on a perch
noun plural perch or perches
- 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
- any of various similar or related fishes
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. n.2“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. v.“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.