the illegal practice of trespassing on another’s property to hunt or steal game without the landowner’s permission.
any encroachment on another’s property, rights, ideas, or the like.
to trespass, especially on another’s game preserve, in order to steal animals or to hunt.
to take game or fish illegally.
(of land) to become broken up or slushy by being trampled.
(in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) to play a ball hit into the territory of one’s partner that is properly the partner’s ball to play.
Informal. to cheat in a game or contest.
to trespass on (private property), especially in order to hunt or fish.
to steal (game or fish) from another’s property.
to take without permission and use as one’s own:
to poach ideas; a staff poached from other companies.
to break or tear up by trampling.
to mix with water and reduce to a uniform consistency, as clay.
to cook (eggs, fish, fruits, etc.) in a hot liquid that is kept just below the boiling point.
Contemporary Examples

“We are reaching a point where deaths from poaching and natural mortality are overtaking the birth rate,” Cathy Dean said.
Borana Joins the Fight to Save Kenya’s Rhinos…and Wants You to Help Too Joanna Eede February 17, 2014

Use apricots that are ripe but still firm enough to hold their shape after poaching.
Profiting From the Fruit Meltdown Katie Workman July 6, 2009

He suspected that the driver, who was identified as Cody Alan Legebokoff, was poaching in the backwoods.
A Teen Serial Killer in Canada? Christine Pelisek October 22, 2011

Now poaching is on the rise and wildlife conservation in peril.
Ebola Could Deal a Death Blow to Africa’s Wildlife Brandon Presser November 2, 2014

The problem is not simply that the right is poaching and twisting Paine for its own ends.
Palin’s Unlikely Hero Harvey J. Kaye November 16, 2009

Historical Examples

They pretend there’s a right of way along the cliffs, and it’s nothing on earth but an excuse for poaching.
A Fortunate Term Angela Brazil

Eggs for poaching should be perfectly fresh, or they will not keep a nice shape.
The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison

This was poaching on his own ground, for he set himself up to be the match of any number in the land.
The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O’Iwa Inari James S. De Benneville

I took thee for an angler, and thou art but a poaching knave!
Angling Sketches Andrew Lang

Yet once she did feel a little as if Cynthia were poaching on her manor.
Wives and Daughters Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

to catch (game, fish, etc) illegally by trespassing on private property
to encroach on or usurp (another person’s rights, duties, etc) or steal (an idea, employee, etc)
(tennis, badminton) to take or play (shots that should belong to one’s partner)
to break up (land) into wet muddy patches, as by riding over it, or (of land) to become broken up in this way
(intransitive) (of the feet, shoes, etc) to sink into heavy wet ground
to simmer (eggs, fish, etc) very gently in water, milk, stock, etc

“steal game,” 1520s, “to push, poke,” from Middle French pocher “to thrust, poke,” from Old French pochier “poke out, gouge, prod, jab,” from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German puchen “to pound, beat, knock,” German pochen, Middle Dutch boken “to beat”) related to poke (v.). Sense of “trespass for the sake of stealing” is first attested 1610s, perhaps via notion of “thrusting” oneself onto another’s property, or perhaps from French pocher “to pocket” (see poach (v.2)). Related: Poached; poaching.

“cook in liquid,” early 15c., from Old French poché, past participle of pochier (12c.), literally “put into a pocket” (as the white of an egg forms a pocket for the yolk), from poche “bag, pocket,” from Frankish *pokka “bag,” from Proto-Germanic *puk- (see poke (n.)). Related: Poached; poaching.


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