1. A small bag often closing with a drawstring and used especially for carrying loose items in one's pocket.
2. A bag or sack used to carry mail or diplomatic dispatches.
3. A leather bag or case for carrying powder or small-arms ammunition.
4. A sealed plastic or foil container used for packaging food or drink.
5. Something resembling a bag in shape: the pouches under one's eyes.
6. Zoology A saclike structure, such as the cheek pockets of the gopher or the external abdominal pocket in which marsupials carry their young.
7. Anatomy A pocketlike space in the body: the pharyngeal pouch.
8. Scots A pocket.
9. Archaic A small purse for coins.
v. pouched, pouch·ing, pouch·es
1. To place in or as if in a pouch; pocket.
2. To cause to resemble a pouch.
3. To swallow. Used of certain birds or fishes.
To assume the form of a pouch or pouchlike cavity.
[Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.