[ soh ]
/ soʊ /
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See synonyms for: sew / sewing / sewn on Thesaurus.com

Definition of sew

verb (used with object), sewed, sewn or sewed, sew·ing.
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).
verb (used without object), sewed, sewn or sewed, sew·ing.
to work with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
Verb Phrases
sew up,
  1. Informal. to get or have a monopoly of; control exclusively.
  2. Informal. to complete or conclude (arrangements, negotiations, etc.) successfully: They were about to sew up the deal when the argument started.
  3. to gain or be assured of: He tried to sew up as many votes as possible before the convention.
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Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of sew

before 900; Middle English sewen,Old English siw(i)an; cognate with Old High German siuwan,Gothic siujan,Latin suere (see suture); akin to seam


sew·a·ble, adjective, noun

Other definitions for sew (2 of 2)

[ soo ]
/ su /

verb (used with object), sewed, sew·ing.
to ground (a vessel) at low tide (sometimes followed by by up).
verb (used without object), sewed, sew·ing.
(of a vessel) to be grounded at low tide.
the amount of additional water necessary to float a grounded vessel.

Origin of sew

First recorded in 1505–15; from Middle French sewer, aphetic variant of essewer, from unattested Vulgar Latin exaquāre, equivalent to Latin ex- “out of, from, thoroughly” + aqu(a) “water” + -āre infinitive suffix; see ex-1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use sew in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sew

/ (səʊ) /

verb sews, sewing, sewed, sewn or sewed
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
See also sew up

Word Origin for sew

Old English sēowan; related to Old Norse sӯja, Gothic siujan, Old High German siuwen, Latin suere to sew, Sanskrit sīvjati he sews
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