Pronunciation Verb

fetch (fetches, present participle fetching; past and past participle fetched)

  1. To retrieve; to bear towards; to go and get.
    • 1611 King James Bible, 1 Books of Kings xvii. 11, 12
      He called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      When they got home, the Rat made a bright fire in the parlour, and planted the Mole in an arm-chair in front of it, having fetched down a dressing-gown and slippers for him, and told him river stories till supper-time.
  2. To obtain as price or equivalent; to sell for.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 3, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
    If you put some new tyres on it, and clean it up a bit, the car should fetch about $5,000
  3. (nautical) To bring or get within reach by going; to reach; to arrive at; to attain; to reach by sailing.
    to fetch headway or sternway
    • 1616, George Chapman, Odyssey
      Meantime flew our ships, and straight we fetched / The siren's isle.
  4. (intransitive) To bring oneself; to make headway; to veer; as, to fetch about; to fetch to windward.
  5. (rare, literary) To take (a breath), to heave (a sigh)
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part I:
      The hurt nigger moaned feebly somewhere near by, and then fetched a deep sigh that made me mend my pace away from there.
  6. To cause to come; to bring to a particular state.
    • They couldn't fetch the butter in the churn.
  7. (obsolete) To recall from a swoon; to revive; sometimes with to.
    to fetch a man to
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      Fetching men again when they swoon.
  8. To reduce; to throw.
    • 1692, Robert South, sermon 28
      The sudden trip in wrestling that fetches a man to the ground.
  9. To bring to accomplishment; to achieve; to make; to perform, with certain objects.
    to fetch a compass;  to fetch a leap
        • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
          I'll fetch a turn about the garden.
  10. 1692, Robert South, sermon 28
    He fetches his blow quick and sure.
  11. (nautical, transitive) To make (a pump) draw water by pouring water into the top and working the handle.