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stitch

[stich]
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noun
  1. one complete movement of a threaded needle through a fabric or material such as to leave behind it a single loop or portion of thread, as in sewing, embroidery, or the surgical closing of wounds.
  2. a loop or portion of thread disposed in place by one such movement in sewing: to rip out stitches.
  3. a particular mode of disposing the thread in sewing or the style of work produced by one such method.
  4. one complete movement of the needle or other implement used in knitting, crocheting, netting, tatting, etc.
  5. the portion of work produced.
  6. a thread, bit, or piece of any fabric or of clothing: to remove every stitch of clothes.
  7. the least bit of anything: He wouldn't do a stitch of work.
  8. a sudden, sharp pain, especially in the intercostal muscles: a stitch in the side.
verb (used with object)
  1. to work upon, join, mend, or fasten with or as if with stitches; sew (often followed by together): to stitch together flour sacks to make curtains; a plan that was barely stitched together.
  2. to ornament or embellish with stitches: to stitch a shirt with a monogram.
verb (used without object)
  1. to make stitches, join together, or sew.
Idioms
  1. in stitches, convulsed with laughter: The comedian had us in stitches all evening.

Origin of stitch

before 900; (noun) Middle English stiche, Old English stice a thrust, stab; cognate with German Stich prick; akin to stick2; (v.) Middle English stichen to stab, pierce, derivative of the noun
Related formsstitch·er, nounstitch·like, adjectivere·stitch, verb (used with object)un·stitch, verbun·stitched, adjectivewell-stitched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stitches

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Examining it carefully, she could see neither seam nor stitches.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • Knitted, in her own stitches and her own symbols, it will always be as plain to her as the sun.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Arrange the fur over all stitches by picking it free with tweezers.

    Taxidermy

    Leon Luther Pray

  • In order that the stitches may draw with ease, they must be taken with great care.

  • To have ten points you must narrow and widen alternately every seven stitches.


British Dictionary definitions for stitches

stitch

noun
  1. a link made by drawing a thread through material by means of a needle
  2. a loop of yarn formed around an implement used in knitting, crocheting, etc
  3. a particular method of stitching or shape of stitch
  4. a sharp spasmodic pain in the side resulting from running or exercising
  5. (usually used with a negative) informal the least fragment of clothinghe wasn't wearing a stitch
  6. agriculture the ridge between two furrows
  7. drop a stitch to allow a loop of wool to fall off a knitting needle accidentally while knitting
  8. in stitches informal laughing uncontrollably
verb
  1. (tr) to sew, fasten, etc, with stitches
  2. (intr) to be engaged in sewing
  3. (tr) to bind together (the leaves of a book, pamphlet, etc) with wire staples or thread
noun, verb
  1. an informal word for suture (def. 1b), suture (def. 6)
See also stitch up
Derived Formsstitcher, noun

Word Origin

Old English stice sting; related to Old Frisian steke, Old High German stih, Gothic stiks, Old Norse tikta sharp
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 stitches

stitch

n.

Old English stice "a prick, puncture," from Proto-Germanic *stikiz, from the root of stick (v.). The sense of "sudden, stabbing pain in the side" was in late Old English. Senses in sewing and shoemaking first recorded late 13c.; meaning "bit of clothing one is (or isn't) wearing" is from c.1500. Meaning "a stroke of work" (of any kind) is attested from 1580s. Surgical sense first recorded 1520s. Sense of "amusing person or thing" is 1968, from notion of laughing so much one gets stitches of pain (cf. verbal expression to have (someone) in stitches, 1935).

stitch

v.

early 13c., "to stab, pierce," also "to fasten or adorn with stitches;" see stitch (n.). Related: Stitched; stitching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stitches in Medicine

stitch

(stĭch)
n.
  1. A sudden sharp pain, especially in the side.
  2. A single suture.
v.
  1. To suture.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with stitches

stitch

In addition to the idiom beginning with stitch

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.