the art, process, or product of working with a needle, especially in embroidery, needlepoint, tapestry, quilting, and appliqué.
the occupation or employment of a person skilled in embroidery, needlepoint, etc.

Origin of needlework

First recorded in 1350–1400, needlework is from the Middle English word nedle werk. See needle, work
Also called needlecraft, stitchery. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for needlework

lace, sewing, embroidery, knitting, stitchery, tatting, quilting

Examples from the Web for needlework

Historical Examples of needlework

  • Viviette left Katherine to her needlework, and advanced to meet him.


    William J. Locke

  • I have always dreamed of myself as a child learning to do needlework.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Lucy and Emily learned to read, and to do various kinds of needlework.

    The Fairchild Family

    Mary Martha Sherwood

  • The girls made a wish that they might become skilled in needlework.

    Japanese Fairy World

    William Elliot Griffis

  • She took up some needlework she had been engaged on, and sat down on a sofa.

    That Boy Of Norcott's

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for needlework



work done with a needle, esp sewing and embroidery
the result of such work
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 needlework

"sewing, embroidery, etc.," late 14c., from needle (n.) + work (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper