[ pach-wurk ]
/ ˈpætʃˌwɜrk /


something made up of an incongruous variety of pieces or parts; hodgepodge: a patchwork of verse forms.
work made of pieces of cloth or leather of various colors or shapes sewed together, used especially for covering quilts, cushions, etc.


resembling a patchwork, especially in being makeshift, irregular, or improvised: a patchwork policy of dispensing foreign aid.

verb (used with object)

to make as patchwork: She specializes in patchworking skirts.
to assemble or connect in making patchwork: to patchwork neckties into bedspreads.

Origin of patchwork

First recorded in 1685–95; patch1 + work

Related forms

patch·work·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for patchwork

British Dictionary definitions for patchwork


/ (ˈpætʃˌwɜːk) /


needlework done by sewing pieces of different materials together
something, such as a theory, made up of various partsa patchwork of cribbed ideas

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