- to join or attach by stitches.
- to make, repair, etc., (a garment) by such means.
- to enclose or secure with stitches: to sew flour in a bag.
- to close (a hole, wound, etc.) by means of stitches (usually followed by up).
- to work with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
- sew up,
- Informal.to get or have a monopoly of; control exclusively.
- Informal.to complete or conclude (arrangements, negotiations, etc.) successfully: They were about to sew up the deal when the argument started.
- to gain or be assured of: He tried to sew up as many votes as possible before the convention.
Origin of sew1
- to fasten or mend completely by sewing
- US to acquire sole use or control of
- informal to complete or negotiate successfullyto sew up a deal
- to join or decorate (pieces of fabric, etc) by means of a thread repeatedly passed through with a needle or similar implement
- (tr; often foll by on or up) to attach, fasten, or close by sewing
- (tr) to make (a garment, etc) by sewing
Word Origin and History for sew up
Old English siwian "to stitch, sew, mend, patch, knit together," earlier siowian, from Proto-Germanic *siwjanan (cf. Old Norse syja, Swedish sy, Danish sye, Old Frisian sia, Old High German siuwan, Gothic siujan "to sew"), from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew" (cf. Sanskrit sivyati "sews," sutram "thread, string;" Greek hymen "thin skin, membrane," hymnos "song;" Latin suere "to sew, sew together;" Old Church Slavonic šijo "to sew," šivu "seam;" Lettish siuviu, siuti "to sew," siuvikis "tailor;" Russian švec "tailor"). Related: Sewed; sewing. To sew (something) up "bring it to a conclusion" is a figurative use attested by 1904.
Idioms and Phrases with sew up
Complete successfully, as in Our team has sewn up the championship. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
Gain complete control of, monopolize, as in Our restaurant hopes to sew up the town's takeout business. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]