From Middle English dechen, from Old English dēċan (“to smear, plaster, daub”), of unknown origin. Perhaps related to Old English deccan (“to cover”), a variant of Old English þeccan (“to cover, cover over, conceal”). More at deck, thatch. Alternatively from Proto-Germanic *dōkijaną (“to apply with a rag or cloth, smear”), from Proto-Germanic *dōkaz (“rag”); see duck (“canvas, cloth”).
- (transitive) To smear, daub, plaster, or impregnate, especially with dirt which becomes hard and ingrained.
- 1917, Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, Brought Forward, page 60:
- The mud of Flanders clung to his boots and clothes. It was "deeched" into his skin, and round his eyes had left a stain so dark, it looked as if he had been painted for a theatrical make-up.