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



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 hitched

Contemporary Examples of hitched

Historical Examples of hitched

  • In one of his letters he says: "Harriet has hitched on, and with all her might; she is a whole team."

  • The horses were hitched to the wagon, which still contained the tent and fittings.

  • She hitched her chair closer, and flipped the leaves eagerly.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The reformers are valiant and true, and every one has hitched his waggon to his pet star.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • He took his feet from the rail and hitched his chair about until he faced me.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for hitched



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 hitched



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