Definition of stitch in English:

stitch

noun

  • 1A loop of thread or yarn resulting from a single pass or movement of the needle in sewing, knitting, or crocheting.

    • ‘There's the strong likelihood of my stitches sliding off my needles with every movement.’
    • ‘Our modes and tonality, diverse ingredients and style unite in a tapestry of stitches belonging to different needles.’
    • ‘The women got down to work on it with large needles and red stitches.’
    • ‘There are over 400 stitches on the needles at the moment and each row is going at a torturously slow pace.’
    • ‘Lorinda begins designing by playing with different stitches and needles sizes.’
    • ‘Catherine took a few stitches with her needle, and then sat the material back on her lap.’
    • ‘They even found a small kit for sewing stitches, just in case anyone knew how.’
    • ‘The quilter first outlines her design with fine, tiny stitches, sewing front and back layers together at the same time.’
    • ‘Delicately, she took up her crochet needles once more, and started her stitch.’
    • ‘Many is the judge whose lack of knowledge of needlework and stitches didn't prevent them staring with great interest at the costumes.’
    • ‘Thread the end of the yarn in a large-eyed needle and make a few stitches through the end of the tube to secure it before cutting off the yarn.’
    • ‘Crocheting, which is as easy as knitting, simply uses different stitches and a hooked needle.’
    • ‘Holding the needle thread tail, take a stitch to draw the bobbin thread to the tuck surface.’
    • ‘The first person she saw was Sally, sitting on one of the chairs, sewing fine, little stitches on her handkerchief.’
    • ‘The lines are stitched in perfectly even stitches using waxed thread.’
    • ‘They had to show me at least five ‘good’ running stitches, stitches that were the same length.’
    • ‘Students learn to do math by knitting stitches together, and to count by placing nuts into bags.’
    • ‘Old grandmothers sitting in a circle were stitching tiny colourful stitches on a quilt.’
    • ‘You may count the stitches in a needlework more easily than with the textile actually in your hands.’
    • ‘Stitch the mouth with a straight stitch, retracing the stitches as before on the ears.’
    1. 1.1 A loop of thread used to join the edges of a wound or surgical incision.
      ‘he had to have sixteen stitches to his head’
      • ‘His wife, who is now separated from him, required 50 stitches to close the wound in her head.’
      • ‘The surgical wound clips or stitches may be removed while in hospital just before going home, but on occasion they will be removed after discharge from hospital by a GP or a nurse.’
      • ‘The wires holding the sternum together are permanent, but the stitches closing the wound will gradually dissolve.’
      • ‘Your surgeon will then close the incision with stitches or clips and cover it with a dressing.’
      • ‘The wound took thirty stitches to suture, and by the time they returned to the cabin, it was midmorning.’
      • ‘Doctors do not usually use stitches to treat puncture wounds.’
      • ‘She said she had suffered continuing problems since the cheetah attacked her leg, ripping open a wound that required 28 stitches and years of physiotherapy.’
      • ‘He required six stitches for a face wound.’
      • ‘When the operation is complete, the incisions are closed with stitches and the four small wounds are covered with dressings.’
      • ‘Postoperatively all the patients had healthy wounds and the stitches were removed on day 7.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a defensive midfielder was the second Stanley player in a week to require stitches to a leg wound.’
      • ‘Each pile is tied off with a surgical stitch, or suture, and then the pile is cut away.’
      • ‘He had 19 surgical staples in his head wounds and other stitches in his hand, shoulder and leg.’
      • ‘Because the surgeon can reach the eardrum through ear canal, there is no visible incision or stitches.’
      • ‘Following the assault last October, her cheekbone was found to be fractured, her finger broken and she required 24 stitches to head wounds.’
      • ‘The skin is sewn together with stitches using a tiny needle.’
      • ‘The man required stitches to close a wound to the back of his head.’
      • ‘He required stitches for both wounds but is now believed to have made a full recovery.’
      • ‘Skin adhesive (such as Dermabond) is a way to close small wounds without stitches.’
      • ‘Other lesions can be cut out entirely and the wound closed up with stitches.’
    2. 1.2usually with modifier A method of sewing, knitting, or crocheting producing a particular pattern or design.
      ‘basic embroidery stitches’
      • ‘Some machines have the capability to automatically sew a tapered satin stitch.’
      • ‘The V-neck style also has extensive tonal stitch detail.’
      • ‘In a circular pattern around and over and through the cross are appliquéd arcs and embroidered stitch marks that carry the eye round and round in an almost dizzying motion.’
      • ‘The three layers are stitched together with quilting stitches that, until very recently, were worked by hand.’
      • ‘Make yourself this rainbow of a belt using two simple crochet stitches.’
      • ‘Apply it sparingly between buttonhole stitches and let it dry before cutting them open.’
      • ‘Eileen spoke about printing onto interesting papers, transferring to materials, enhancing with pens and paint, machine stitching as well as hand stitches.’
      • ‘Though lighter to wear, silk is not as durable as velvet, particularly when confronted with thousands of embroidery stitches.’
      • ‘He painted designs for richly embroidered ecclesiastical vestments that required satin stitch and raised work in metallic and silk threads.’
      • ‘Mom taught me the basic knit stitches when I was a kid.’
      • ‘In Claim 3, it will mean those stitches and the embroidery stitches.’
      • ‘She used satin stitches extensively for flowers and leaves, and cross stitches elsewhere.’
      • ‘The standard corner stitch is used for closure of tissue corners with an approximate 90-degree angle.’
      • ‘Stitch the buttonhole as usual, removing any basting stitches when finished.’
      • ‘As young girls learn embroidery stitches from older women, they are initiated into the culture.’
      • ‘This work is done in long and short darn stitch created into innumerable designs and patterns.’
      • ‘I found the making up for this pattern to be a bit odd and best countered with mattress stitch.’
      • ‘The beads were sewn on with an appliqué stitch using two needles.’
      • ‘They are made from pieces of muslin, constructed like a rag doll stuffed with scraps, with the outer surface covered with parallel darning stitches.’
      • ‘Each of these large areas are edged with stem or outline stitch in a contrasting colour.’
    3. 1.3informal in singular, usually with negative The smallest item of clothing.
      ‘nymphs with come-hither looks and not a stitch on’
      • ‘If skimpy clothing is the lifeline of the ramp, the biggest fashion show is staged on the banks of Ganges every twelfth year when thousands of Naga sadhus parade without even a stitch on their body.’
      • ‘She didn't have a stitch of clothing on her body.’
      • ‘I just splashed up and down, not a stitch of clothing on.’
      • ‘Clad almost entirely in leather of a soft natural hue, the only stitch of clothing not fashioned from tanned animal skin was the linen material draped snug across their chiseled chests.’
      • ‘What in the world was she doing hanging in chains from a wall, without a stitch of clothing?’
      • ‘Everyone who's normal should flop around their homes aimlessly without a stitch of clothing on at least once a month.’
      • ‘I think everybody took nearly every stitch of clothing we had off and emptied our pockets to give them everything we could.’
      • ‘Why, if their measure is to be taken from this lass, she hasn't a stitch of clothing, let alone a periapt or weapon.’
      • ‘But there you were without a stitch of clothing on.’
      • ‘THe trippers were happily munching sandwiches when they saw two women without a stitch of clothing being photographed by an older man near Scorton.’
      • ‘He hadn't a stitch of sportswear to pound the streets when he took the plunge to enter the New York City Marathon.’
      • ‘When I shop, I simply must try on every stitch of clothing - it is not unusual to spend two or three hours in the dressing room.’
      • ‘Isn't it a terrible country we're living in at the moment when poor people can't get a stitch to suit them in it.’
      • ‘Staff passing by the windows of his sealed ward would see him jumping on his bed and waving to them, without a stitch of clothing on.’
      • ‘However, since she was brave enough to walk into the station without a stitch of clothing, all duty officers could do was shake their heads that the woman had the audacity to commit such an act.’
      • ‘Though her every possession down to her last stitch of clothing has been in and out of hock she remains loyal to her wise cracking beau.’
      • ‘Even with his promising not to remove a stitch of clothing during Sunday halftime performance, the NFL isn't about to go for anything smaller.’
      • ‘This was a friend from New York, a boy scout no less, who I never saw with a stitch of clothing on the entire time.’
      • ‘Kip picks up a black-and-white picture of two men standing outdoors with their arms around each other's slender waists - and not a stitch of clothing on either.’
  • 2A sudden sharp pain in the side of the body, caused by strenuous exercise.

    ‘he was panting and had a stitch’
    • ‘I was already getting stitches in the side, from trying not to laugh.’
    • ‘I went to his side, breathing heavily and clutching at a stitch at my side.’
    • ‘‘She's coming,’ he gasps, clutching at a stitch in his side.’
    • ‘When Meg reached the Movement classroom, she was out of breath, blinking, and clutching a stitch at her side.’
    • ‘As I staggered onto the airstrip, clutching the stitch in my side and breathing hard, I tried to recall where I had seen that design of red and white.’
    • ‘The stitch in her side burned painfully and her legs ached.’
    • ‘Her legs were starting to grow tired and sore, and a stitch of pain was erupting in her side.’
    • ‘I dashed out of class, grabbed the books I needed from my locker, and sprinted to my car so quickly I got a stitch in my side.’
    • ‘She ran until she had a stitch in her side and then slowed down.’
    • ‘Ryan was bent over by a tree, holding a stitch in his side.’
    • ‘Shaking, he entered, disregarding the stitch in his side and the back of his sweat-soaked tunic clinging to his flesh.’
    • ‘I continued running and running, even when I felt a sharp stitch at my side.’
    • ‘She remembered running, running all the way to Marcus Berenson's house, her anger fuelling her, not even caring about the stitch in her side, or her gasping lungs.’
    • ‘He stopped outside his house, clutching a stitch in his side.’
    • ‘The teachers jogged off-court, many of them out of breath, panting, or clutching stitches at their sides.’
    • ‘Almost out of breath and with a painful stitch in my side, I forced myself into motion once again.’
    • ‘She made it to the very end of the hall, gasping for air with one hand gripping at the stitch in her side, the other clutching her forehead.’
    • ‘The stitch in her side was growing more and more painful with each step.’
    • ‘She clutched at a throbbing stitch in her side and ran on.’
    • ‘I didn't care, and felt the urge to swear again but was too out of breath to do more than wheeze and clutch at the stitch in my side.’
    sharp pain, stabbing pain, shooting pain, stab of pain, pang, twinge, spasm
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • 1Make, mend, or join (something) with stitches.

    ‘stitch a plain seam with right sides together’
    ‘they stitched the cut on her face’
    ‘hand-stitched dresses’
    • ‘Stuff legs with batting and stitch ends together to form a stalk long enough to wrap around child.’
    • ‘That the poor she visited probably stitched her underwear together for a dollar a week never occurs to her.’
    • ‘The dresses are stitched on the institute premises by the students and displayed on a select day.’
    • ‘To keep the quality on par with branded items, the cloth is double stitched.’
    • ‘We buy cloth and patterns, and cut them out, and stitch them together.’
    • ‘Once the implant is in place, the gum is stitched over it and the area is left to heal.’
    • ‘Once the fabric is stitched to the inside of the boot, it will block human odor for the life of the boot.’
    • ‘The victim went to the infirmary and left after a nurse stitched his wound.’
    • ‘Beginning in the quilt center, machine stitch in the ditch along all vertical seamlines.’
    • ‘He had screamed in agony as cuts on his feet were stitched without anaesthetic.’
    • ‘Quilters don't just stitch fabric pieces together, they sew fine art.’
    • ‘To allow for turn of the cloth, stitch right next to the crease, with the needle toward the cut edge.’
    • ‘The pattern is programmed to stitch an outline around the shape to hold it in place while the edge is stitched.’
    • ‘It really is amazing to think that children as young as seven stitched samplers.’
    • ‘He was taken to Frere Hospital where a large gash in his leg was stitched.’
    • ‘Fred had stitched fine patchwork quilts that covered the beds and hung on the walls of his house.’
    • ‘At the end of the design, carefully stitch directly over three or four beginning stitches.’
    • ‘Each part is then stitched together like a quilt, sometimes almost a note at a time.’
    • ‘Place the tape on the inside of the roll line and hand stitch firmly in place on both long edges.’
    • ‘It was then explained to me that she creates the clothing by layering and drying the acrylic paint into designs which she then stitches together into finished pieces.’
    sew, baste, tack, seam, hem
    View synonyms
  • 2stitch something upBritish informal Manipulate a situation so that someone is placed at a disadvantage or wrongly blamed for something.

    ‘he was stitched up by outsiders and ousted as chairman’
    • ‘Mostly, people will tell you that he was stitched up by his players and his assistant and his employers in the union.’
    • ‘And as a patriotic Turk at heart and by blood, too, he is confronted by the real probability that his grandfather was stitched up by the very same Turkish establishment he longed to join.’
    • ‘In the past no-one batted an eyelid but we've learned that some people go out of their way to try to stitch you up; some people are like that.’
    • ‘They are trying to stitch us up - these are things that they don't say to us.’
    • ‘He'd just been appointed deputy chairman of the party and, on the eve of the Blackpool conference, he'd been interviewed by the BBC without being advised and they stitched him up.’
    • ‘Evidently deeply suspicious of British newspapers, she seems to misinterpret innocent questions as a ruse to stitch her up.’
    • ‘She was more than willing to talk about all these things, which is cool, because I hate the idea of stitching someone up with a story they wouldn't want printed.’
    • ‘A substantial number within the hospital believes that he was stitched up and made a scapegoat for a practice which appears to be quite normal in many hospitals up and down the country.’
    • ‘He has been stitched up - to raise money in his memory.’
    • ‘In an angry phone call, he accused me of ‘stitching him up’ and, although things got better over the years, there remained a certain coolness.’
    falsely incriminate, get someone into trouble
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1stitch something up Arrange or secure a deal or agreement to one's advantage.
      ‘the company has stitched up major deals all over the world to boost sales’
      • ‘Instead, after a deal was stitched up with the big unions, the conference voted for a statement from the Labour National Executive which linked Britain's eventual withdrawal of troops to the return of democracy in Iraq.’
      • ‘Their frequent bilateral meetings meant that EU summits were often stitched up in advance.’
      • ‘Once a deal has been stitched up, he will almost certainly be out-voted by the European, African and Asian delegates.’
      • ‘In future the BBC in Scotland will decide on how it covers the news on strict editorial grounds instead of how the director-general in London wants the news presented and has stitched it up with Downing Street.’
      • ‘Early last week, speculation began to emerge that Lehman Brothers was poised to bid and the deal would be stitched up in time for the upcoming results announcement.’
      • ‘It was all stitched up and done before we got there and nothing anybody said from the floor was going to change their minds.’
      • ‘That is because the deal has not been stitched up properly.’
      • ‘The only answer must be that a deal has been stitched up between the two men, who agreed over dinner nine years ago that Tony would one day hand over to Gordon.’
      • ‘The bill was rejected by Parliament twice, yet he persisted with it and passed it in an amended form after a deal was stitched up with an independent member of parliament.’
      • ‘Even this debate was tightly stitched up to marginalise anti-war voices.’

Phrases

  • in stitches

    • informal Laughing uncontrollably.

      ‘his droll self-mockery had us in stitches’
      • ‘It worked so well: the entire area was in stitches laughing, myself included.’
      • ‘He had a jocular way of telling his point of view and that often had the Senate in stitches.’
      • ‘They all arrived at the bathroom at the same time to see their mother in stitches on the floor, laughing.’
      • ‘By the time we reached the ship, we were all in stitches with tears running down our cheeks we were laughing so hard.’
      • ‘We were in stitches at the idea of him suddenly recognising in horror that the grubby waif loitering around Grand Central for a cheap meal was actually his petite cousin.’
      • ‘Tom and Freddie had a packed house in Dunphy's of Kill on Wednesday night and the comedian Big Mike had the crowd in stitches with his wonderful jokes.’
      • ‘The glorious absurdity of that one line had me in stitches.’
      • ‘You may or may not be in stitches, and maybe seeing it in print isn't the best way to appreciate it, but believe it or not the above joke has been scientifically proven to be the funniest there is.’
      • ‘The actor-comedian kept the graduates and crowd of 30,000 in stitches.’
      • ‘The funnyman had TV viewers in stitches with his no-nonsense approach to football during World Cup ad breaks and now he is proving his sporting prowess in the new event.’
  • a stitch in time saves nine

    • proverb If you sort out a problem immediately it may save extra work later.

      • ‘Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow.’
      • ‘And so for these companies, the stitch in time has indeed saved nine.’
      • ‘The lead officer said: ‘It's a case of a stitch in time saves nine.’’
      • ‘But we will explain to people that sometimes a stitch in time saves nine and that there can be false economy.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister has told us that a stitch in time saves nine, and in New Zealand First we totally agree with that statement, particularly as it relates to the health system.’
      • ‘But definitely do this; your swimmer is only 14 and a stitch in time saves nine.’
      • ‘To employ an old bromide: "A stitch in time saves nine".’
      • ‘We were always taught that a stitch in time saves nine, and perhaps that is exactly the case with the health system.’
      • ‘In health, we believe a stitch in time saves nine.’

Origin

Old English stice ‘a puncture, stabbing pain’, of Germanic origin; related to German Stich ‘a sting, prick’, also to stick. The sense ‘loop’ (in sewing etc.) arose in Middle English.

Pronunciation

stitch

/stɪtʃ/