When people poach deer or ducks, they hunt them illegally. On the other hand, when you poach an egg, it's perfectly legal — you just cook it in simmering water.

Hunters are only permitted to hunt certain animals during specific times of the year, and only in certain locations. If a hunter shoots a rabbit on another person's private land, you can say she poaches it. This meaning probably stems from the Middle French pocher, "to thrust." Another theory connects it to the "cook in hot liquid" meaning of poach and its Old French root poché, "put into a pocket."

Definitions of poach
  1. verb
    hunt illegally
    “people are poaching elephants for their ivory”
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    type of:
    hunt, hunt down, run, track down
    pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
  2. verb
    cook in a simmering liquid
    poached apricots”
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    type of:
    transform and make suitable for consumption by heating
Word Family