- something made up of an incongruous variety of pieces or parts; hodgepodge: a patchwork of verse forms.
- work made of pieces of cloth or leather of various colors or shapes sewed together, used especially for covering quilts, cushions, etc.
- resembling a patchwork, especially in being makeshift, irregular, or improvised: a patchwork policy of dispensing foreign aid.
- to make as patchwork: She specializes in patchworking skirts.
- to assemble or connect in making patchwork: to patchwork neckties into bedspreads.
Origin of patchwork
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. medley, jumble, mélange.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for patchwork
The lab opened the door to a patchwork of grants from around the world which allowed Lavie to begin auditioning actresses.‘Zero Motivation’: the Funny Side of the IDF
December 8, 2014
We have a patchwork system in which some people are covered, and others wait and wait.Medicaid Will Give You Money for At-Home Care, but You Might Wait Years
December 2, 2014
A patchwork of building shells and cratered streets, the city tells of a cyclical war, still smoldering.Victims No More: Congo’s Badass Women Mechanics
June 6, 2014
Other parents use a patchwork of care with a different plan in place every day.For Working Moms, One Sick Kid Can Spell Disaster
January 26, 2014
Like a patchwork quilt we can cherry pick from the holiday the parts that nurture our well worn hearts.Christmas Misfits Unite
Dr. Michelle K. London
December 24, 2013
Our pledge was not merely to do a patchwork job with secondhand materials.
He stripped to his underclothes and turned in under the patchwork comforters.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
My heart sank; patchwork was the thing my mother had tried to have me do, and I hated it.Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic
Olive Thorne Miller
This new and patchwork Court does but try to imitate the tone of its leader.Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume I (of II)
Charles James Lever
Tests and forethought must take the place of failure and patchwork.The Measurement of Intelligence
Lewis Madison Terman
- needlework done by sewing pieces of different materials together
- something, such as a theory, made up of various partsa patchwork of cribbed ideas
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for patchwork
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper