Definition of hitch in US English:



  • 1with object, and adverbial of direction Move (something) into a different position with a jerk.

    ‘she hitched the blanket around him’
    ‘he hitched his pants up’
    • ‘It was hitched up to reveal an underskirt of a different color and with no hoops or panniers.’
    • ‘I hop across the lounge between wheelchair and sofa - he hitches up his right foot and copies me.’
    • ‘Her skirt was hitched up way higher on one side than the other and the buttons on her shirt were all in the wrong holes.’
    • ‘After he had moved on to other news, Ara hitched her rucksack higher on her back, prepared to go to her glade.’
    • ‘These tunics were usually worn to below the knee, but during travel they were hitched up by a belt to make walking easier.’
    • ‘Gnat walks up to a mirror, hitches her shirt up, sticks out her tongue.’
    • ‘As skirts were hitched up and ties loosened, out came the blue Rimmel eyeliners and the Body Shop blushers.’
    • ‘I hitched my pack into a more comfortable position and grimaced.’
    • ‘Mac hitched the blanket higher over one shoulder.’
    • ‘Lift up the right hip as far as it will go, hitching it up towards the ribcage.’
    • ‘‘Some strange types round these parts, lady,’ as he spat his tobacco, hitched his pajamas and banged the gate behind us.’
    • ‘Best to hitch up our Fafbelts and get used to him right.’
    • ‘The clerk reached for the phone; I hitched my pants and vamoosed.’
    pull, jerk, hike, lift, raise
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  • 2informal no object Travel by hitchhiking.

    • ‘Unlike the Paris to Dakar rally, where every car has a support vehicle, if we break down in the Sahara we'll be hitching our way out.’
    • ‘Delighted at the chance to escape the mayhem, I hitched along with him.’
    • ‘So at the start of the summer holidays I hitched to Birmingham, found a studio that swallowed my false ID and got both nipples done.’
    • ‘I've seen a few people hitching with suitcases, but that's weird.’
    • ‘If you're hitching on an interstate it's best to try to hitch from highway onramps.’
    • ‘Even hitching to Brighton, where I have supportive friends, would be a nightmare from here.’
    • ‘There's an unspoken rule when hitching that polite listening is compulsory, arguing outlawed.’
    • ‘Rural Ireland was recommended as a friendly place for hitching, as was Quebec - ‘if you don't mind being berated for not speaking French’.’
    • ‘She says she had always hoped to go back to Russia, after spending her gap-year there while all her friends were hitching around India.’
    • ‘The two of them trekked and hitched across Iran, relying on the kindness of strangers.’
    • ‘There was the student hitching on a road outside Maynooth.’
    • ‘I'd been hitching around Australia and New Zealand not knowing what was happening to my sight, so at least it all made sense.’
    • ‘They are believed to have hitched South and made a new life for themselves near Clones, Co.’
    • ‘Julie Felix came to England in 1964 after leaving California and hitching through Europe with a duffel bag and guitar.’
    • ‘We hitched in pairs and, as a general rule, we'd all meet up outside the cathedral of whichever city we were heading for.’
    • ‘I hitched out to Joshua Tree to go rock climbing.’
    • ‘We'd save money by hitching and sleeping in train stations or anywhere we could doss down for a couple of hours.’
    • ‘I had left Peshawar early in the morning the day before, and hitched out of town on a succession of brightly painted trucks.’
    • ‘He said he hardly ever picks anyone up, and I said this is the first time I'd successfully hitched.’
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    1. 2.1with object Obtain (a ride) by hitchhiking.
      • ‘Children are dicing with death hitching rides on the back of moving vehicles.’
      • ‘The ride in an Audi 200 is akin to hitching a lift on the back of a horse drawn carriage.’
      • ‘Treading the beat and hitching rides around the vast air base, he is constantly on the move checking on his international flock.’
      • ‘Some hitched lifts, clinging dangerously on to the sides of trucks and mini buses as they wound around the hairpin curves over a sickening drop to the valley below.’
      • ‘Jo Jo was hitching rides down to her home in Callan, Co Kilkenny, when she disappeared.’
      hitch-hike, ask for, request, signal for
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  • 3with object Fasten or tether with a rope.

    ‘he returned to where he had hitched his horse’
    • ‘So this week I have been mostly hitching my wagon to VitaminQ's star.’
    • ‘He is hitching the bullock cart to the New Economy.’
    • ‘They were now behind the church where people pulled up their buggies and carriages and hitched them to the posts that were set up.’
    • ‘He hitches a trailer to his bike to take the children to school or go shopping.’
    • ‘If you need to hitch a heavy trailer, the suspension can be lowered to a suitable height.’
    • ‘He hitched his wagon to the ideologues who surround him, filtering out those who disagreed, including leaders of his own party and the uniformed military.’
    • ‘Ross's Maoist back-to-nature fantasies were hitched to theories filched from the 1960s architectural avant-garde.’
    • ‘The prehensile tail is muscular at the base, and it is hitched around a branch as an anchor, particularly when descending.’
    • ‘In the city's photographic market, which is still largely hitched to 35 mm, digital is confined to the lower end and to media professionals.’
    • ‘This they hitched to their truck, and then we drove off to the station.’
    • ‘But is hitching your company to a star really the right move?’
    harness, yoke, couple, fasten, connect, attach, tie, tether, bind
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    1. 3.1 Harness (a draft animal or team)
      ‘Thomas hitched the pony to his cart’
      • ‘Reining his horse up beside Barranca he ground hitched him hoping that nothing would startle the gelding.’
      • ‘The horses had been hitched to it, and Jairdan, who was driving, was already in the driver's seat.’
      • ‘He caught up with her as she moved to hitch the saddle over Tempest's back.’
      • ‘The horses were hitched up to a nearby tree, untacked, and seemed to be getting along with each other fine.’
      • ‘At the end of a day's fishing, the day's catch was loaded into a cart, and the dog was hitched up to haul the load into town.’
      • ‘The horses were hitched up and finally everything was ready.’
      • ‘Red already had the team hitched for her, so she kissed Joey goodbye and climbed up in the tall seat.’
      • ‘I saw one leading Angel Wing up to the lead cart and hitching him to the other horses there.’
      • ‘‘He's too fine a beast to be hitched to do this kind of work,’ he protested.’
      • ‘Mitchell said the cable did not break, and detectives believe something went wrong when Hart's harness was being hitched to the cable.’
      harness, yoke, saddle, bridle, hitch up, couple
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  • 1A temporary interruption or problem.

    ‘everything went without a hitch’
    • ‘Blogger worked without a hitch, and I feel fine.’
    • ‘Anyway, the show went on without a hitch or a bullet.’
    • ‘And hopefully, the elections will go without a hitch.’
    • ‘The good news is that it all went without a hitch.’
    • ‘Luckily, the surgery was completed without a hitch and the patient was informed of the problem.’
    • ‘And the good news is the European Space Agency's Mars Express appears to have gone into orbit around Mars without a hitch.’
    • ‘How can they remember if they had encountered computer hitches over the past two or three months?’
    • ‘Judith Leach, principal of the girls' school, said the exams, which began at 8.30 am and ended promptly at 1 pm, ran without a hitch.’
    • ‘The five pools at the spacious new $16.3 million centre are now tiled and have been filled and tested - without a hitch.’
    • ‘I'm not saying the battle plan has gone without a hitch.’
    • ‘I can't always count on my pre-work routine to go off without a hitch.’
    • ‘It wasn't easy to do, but English class finally started without a hitch and my headache remained in the back corner of my mind.’
    • ‘Improbably, the screening goes off without a hitch and, except for the 30 or 40 people who walk out, the response is very positive.’
    • ‘And while, certainly, they do, many, many more trials go off without a hitch.’
    • ‘Thanks to Maureen Kidd who was responsible for all the arrangements and, in her usual efficient planning, everything went without a hitch.’
    • ‘For all its water-tightness and lack of style, all the stuff I tried to read, passed through MSOffice grammar check without a hitch!’
    • ‘The competition went smoothly and without any major hitches all the way up to the ninth-graders.’
    • ‘The first was put up without a hitch on Wednesday.’
    • ‘For some reason, software that had worked earlier without a hitch had waited until election night to omit eight precincts in the tally.’
    • ‘Theatre Serendipity's first show of their cross-Canada Fringe-circuit tour didn't exactly go off without a hitch.’
    problem, difficulty, issue, snag, setback, catch, hindrance, obstacle, obstruction, complication, impediment, barrier, stumbling block, block, trouble
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  • 2A knot used for fastening a rope to another rope or something else.

    • ‘Also available is The Klutz Book of Knots, a step-by-step manual on how to tie the world's 24 most useful hitches, ties, warps and knots.’
    • ‘Lash ropes and diamond hitches are untied, the horses unpacked and then hobbled or tethered in the meadow below camp.’
    1. 2.1North American A device for attaching one thing to another, especially the tow bar of a motor vehicle.
      ‘a trailer hitch’
      • ‘I don't own a boat, but I have a pickup and trailer with a hitch just in case.’
      • ‘These pieces of equipment can be easily attached to a trailer hitch and taken from a job site.’
      • ‘This is required in all 50 states and should never be hooked onto the receiver hitch or wrapped around the bumper.’
      • ‘It's a factory crew cab that's low enough to accommodate a gooseneck hitch.’
      • ‘I welded a bracket with a pad for bolting a vise to the square tubing that fits into the receiver hitch on the rear of my pickup.’
      • ‘Most front mounted hitches are used for off road front mounted winches.’
      • ‘He has access to a welding machine and can do such things as weld a trailer hitch for himself.’
      • ‘The wagon was parked directly in front of another car with a towing hitch and a speedboat directly behind it.’
      • ‘Some rear bumpers may come with a built-in step or a trailer hitch that will add more functionality to your Chevrolet pickup or SUV.’
      • ‘Cadillac's pickup is so fancy that a trailer hitch is optional.’
      • ‘How had she gone from discussing the characters in the book she was reading to Archie's description of a mooring hitch?’
      • ‘If a trailer starts to sway, it transfers this motion to the back of the car through the hitch.’
      • ‘Simply attach a trailer ball to the ATV's back hitch and your powerful machine becomes a hauling wonder.’
      • ‘A gooseneck hitch mount may require lubrication and should be checked for condition, especially the adjustment bolts on the tongue tube.’
      • ‘To install, slide the unit into place, pin it, and plug its electrical hookup into a lighter/accessory port or the standard hitch wiring.’
      • ‘Headlights, brush guard and trailer hitch without ball are standard features.’
      • ‘Trailers and towable equipment should use quality trailer hitch or kingpin locks.’
      • ‘Their hand crafted tow hitches have ‘custom’ written all over them in invisible letters.’
      • ‘This is a $40,000 truck, with a serious trailer hitch on it.’
      • ‘Certainly the system has not been without its hitches, particularly for fleets.’
  • 3informal An act of hitchhiking.

    car ride, ride, run, drive, transportation, journey
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  • 4North American informal A period of service.

    ‘his 12-year hitch in the navy’
    • ‘On the troop ship home were a bunch of criminals - American soldiers who had spent most of their hitch in the brig.’
    • ‘The Admiral recruited me after I had served a hitch in the Navy.’
    • ‘Americans in uniform, whether they serve for one hitch or an entire career, are taught to view themselves as professionals.’


  • get hitched

    • informal Marry.

      • ‘The pair met on the set of her latest film, ‘Sugar And Spice’ and got hitched three weeks ago in Northern California.’
      • ‘As she knocked back the booze she told pals it was only a matter of time until she got hitched to the Babyshambles frontman.’
      • ‘Two friends of mine got hitched at this year's Glastonbury Festival - it helps when you know the guy on stage and he does the asking.’
      • ‘I'm reminded of a story my pa told me about how he got hitched.’
      • ‘But she was married at the time and Gene had been married and divorced and in no big hurry to get hitched again.’
      • ‘The 41-year-old got hitched to Michelle Farthing at St Matthew's Church in Little Lever before a crowd of 80 people.’
      • ‘The soaring cost of getting married has inspired a council to help couples get hitched on the cheap.’
      • ‘The couple, who have both been married before, are getting hitched at St John's Church on Saturday.’
      • ‘They met in actors' high school - Professional Children's School in Manhattan - and swiftly got hitched at a quaint country church.’
      • ‘Last weekend, for example, my friends Josh and Heather got hitched.’
      marry, get married, wed, become man and wife, pledge one's troth, plight one's troth
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  • hitch one's wagon to a star

    • Try to succeed by forming a relationship with someone who is already successful.

      • ‘We should aim for the very highest: hitch our wagon to a star so to speak.’
      • ‘But much better things are coming, and I'd rather hitch my wagon to a star than to a toad.’
      • ‘Now then, let's hitch our wagon to a star as we soak ourselves in the Ananda of Yaman.’
      • ‘You see, I think the little mammy would have had him hitch his wagon to a star… and the star was too far off.’
      • ‘It starts with the head coach, who might be said to heed Ralph Waldo Emerson, and hitch his wagon to a star.’
      • ‘With a dream deep in his heart, a man is spontaneously driven to hitch his wagon to a star.’
      • ‘Diya is all prepared to hitch her wagon to a star.’
      • ‘Fifty years ago, Ben Chapman went to Hollywood to hitch his wagon to a star and ended up as just another guy in a rubber suit.’
      • ‘Ginny had to learn a lesson - to hitch her wagon to a star, but not to lose sight of the job at hand.’
      • ‘At an early age she decided to hitch her wagon to a star and become rich and famous.’


Middle English (in hitch (sense 1 of the verb)): of unknown origin.