HATCH, i. (In Mid. Eng. hacche; the word is of obscure origin, but cognate forms appear in Swed. hacka, and Dan. hackke; it has been connected with " hatch," grating, with possible reference to a coop, and with " hack " in the sense " to peck," of chickens coming out of the shell), to bring out young from the egg, by incubation or other process, natural or artificial. The word is also used as a substantive of a brood of chickens brought out from the eggs. " Hatchery " is particularly applied to a place for the hatching of fish spawn, where the natural process is aided by artificial means. In a figurative sense " to hatch " is often used of the development or contrivance of a plot or conspiracy.
2. (From the Fr. hacker, to cut, hache, hatchet), to engrave or draw by means of cutting lines on wood, metal, etc., or to ornament by inlaying with strips of some other substance as gold or silver. Engraved lines, especially those used in shading, are called " hatches " or " hachures " (see HACHURE).
3. (O.E. hcec, a gate, rack in a stable; found in various Teutonic languages; cf. Dutch hek, Dan. hekke; the ultimate origin is obscure; Skeat suggests a connexion with the root seen in " hook "), the name given to the lower half of a divided HATCHET- -HATHERLEY, BARON door, as in " buttery-hatch," the half-door leading from the buttery or kitchen, through which the dishes could be passed into the dining-hall. It was used formerly as another name for a ship's deck, and thus the phrase " under hatches " meant properly below deck; the word is now applied to the doors of grated framework covering the openings (the " hatchways ") which lead from one deck to another into the hold through which the cargo is lowered. In Cornwall the word is used to denote certain dams or mounds used to prevent the tin-washes and the water coming from the stream-works from flowing into the fresh rivers.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)