verb (used with object)
  1. to fasten or tie, especially temporarily, by means of a hook, rope, strap, etc.; tether: Steve hitched the horse to one of the posts.
  2. to harness (an animal) to a vehicle (often followed by up).
  3. to raise with jerks (usually followed by up); hike up: to hitch up one's trousers.
  4. to move or draw (something) with a jerk.
  5. Slang. to bind by marriage vows; unite in marriage; marry: They got hitched in '79.
  6. to catch, as on a projection; snag: He hitched his jeans on a nail and tore them.
verb (used without object)
  1. to stick, as when caught.
  2. to fasten oneself or itself to something (often followed by on).
  3. to move roughly or jerkily: The old buggy hitched along.
  4. to hobble or limp.
  1. the act or fact of fastening, as to something, especially temporarily.
  2. any of various knots or loops made to attach a rope to something in such a way as to be readily loosened.Compare bend1(def 17).
  3. Military Slang. a period of military service: a three-year hitch in the Navy.
  4. an unexpected difficulty, obstacle, delay, etc.: a hitch in our plans for the picnic.
  5. a hitching movement; jerk or pull.
  6. a hitching gait; a hobble or limp.
  7. a fastening that joins a movable tool to the mechanism that pulls it.
  8. Mining.
    1. a fault having a throw less than the thickness of a coal seam being mined.
    2. a notch cut in a wall or the like to hold the end of a stull or other timber.
Verb Phrases
  1. hitch up, to harness an animal to a wagon, carriage, or the like.

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.
  1. hitchhike.

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. 2018

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


  1. to fasten or become fastened with a knot or tie, esp temporarily
  2. (often foll by up) to connect (a horse, team, etc); harness
  3. (tr often foll by up) to pull up (the trousers, a skirt, etc) with a quick jerk
  4. (intr) mainly US to move in a halting mannerto hitch along
  5. to entangle or become entangledthe thread was hitched on the reel
  6. (tr; passive) slang to marry (esp in the phrase get hitched)
  7. informal to obtain (a ride or rides) by hitchhiking
  1. an impediment or obstacle, esp one that is temporary or minora hitch in the proceedings
  2. 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
  3. a sudden jerk; tug; pullhe gave it a hitch and it came loose
  4. mainly US a hobbling gaitto walk with a hitch
  5. a device used for fastening
  6. informal a ride obtained by hitchhiking
  7. 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