Origin of hitch

1400–50; 1840–50 for def 5; late Middle English hytchen, of obscure origin
Related formshitch·er, noun

Synonyms for hitch

Antonyms for hitch




a minnow, Lavinia exilicauda, inhabiting streams in the area of San Francisco and the Sacramento River basin.

Origin of hitch

origin uncertain



verb (used with or without object), noun Informal.

Origin of hitch

First recorded in 1865–70; by shortening
Related formshitch·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hitch

Contemporary Examples of hitch

Historical Examples of hitch

  • Now, constable, do you want to hitch the other end of that arrangement on my wrist?

  • There had been a hitch at her last funeral, but she had been only an assistant there.

    The Village Watch-Tower

    (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • Then they had gathered around to hitch rides, and had been in control ever since.

    Satellite System

    Horace Brown Fyfe

  • Friendship reigned without a hitch from one end of the feast to the other.


    Emile Zola

  • I expect he's all right, and there's been some hitch in getting the news through.

British Dictionary definitions for hitch



to fasten or become fastened with a knot or tie, esp temporarily
(often foll by up) to connect (a horse, team, etc); harness
(tr often foll by up) to pull up (the trousers, a skirt, etc) with a quick jerk
(intr) mainly US to move in a halting mannerto hitch along
to entangle or become entangledthe thread was hitched on the reel
(tr; passive) slang to marry (esp in the phrase get hitched)
informal to obtain (a ride or rides) by hitchhiking


an impediment or obstacle, esp one that is temporary or minora hitch in the proceedings
a knot for fastening a rope to posts, other ropes, etc, that can be undone by pulling against the direction of the strain that holds it
a sudden jerk; tug; pullhe gave it a hitch and it came loose
mainly US a hobbling gaitto walk with a hitch
a device used for fastening
informal a ride obtained by hitchhiking
US and Canadian slang a period of time spent in prison, in the army, etc
Derived Formshitcher, noun

Word Origin for hitch

C15: of uncertain origin
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 hitch

mid-15c., probably from Middle English icchen "to move as with a jerk, to stir" (c.1200). It lacks cognates in other languages. The connection with icchen may be in notion of "hitching up" pants or boots with a jerking motion. Sense of "become fastened," especially by a hook, first recorded 1570s, originally nautical. Meaning "to marry" is from 1844 (to hitch horses together "get along well," especially of married couples, is from 1837, American English). Short for hitchhike (v.) by 1931. Related: Hitched; hitching.


1660s, "a limp or hobble;" 1670s, "an abrupt movement," from hitch (v.). Meaning "a means by which a rope is made fast" is from 1769, nautical. The sense of "obstruction" is first recorded 1748; military sense of "enlistment" is from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper