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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'd been hitching around Australia and New Zealand not knowing what was happening to my sight, so at least it all made sense.’
    • ‘We'd save money by hitching and sleeping in train stations or anywhere we could doss down for a couple of hours.’
    • ‘Rural Ireland was recommended as a friendly place for hitching, as was Quebec - ‘if you don't mind being berated for not speaking French’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We hitched in pairs and, as a general rule, we'd all meet up outside the cathedral of whichever city we were heading for.’
    • ‘There was the student hitching on a road outside Maynooth.’
    • ‘I've seen a few people hitching with suitcases, but that's weird.’
    • ‘Julie Felix came to England in 1964 after leaving California and hitching through Europe with a duffel bag and guitar.’
    • ‘The two of them trekked and hitched across Iran, relying on the kindness of strangers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said he hardly ever picks anyone up, and I said this is the first time I'd successfully hitched.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you're hitching on an interstate it's best to try to hitch from highway onramps.’
    • ‘They are believed to have hitched South and made a new life for themselves near Clones, Co.’
    • ‘I had left Peshawar early in the morning the day before, and hitched out of town on a succession of brightly painted trucks.’
    • ‘Delighted at the chance to escape the mayhem, I hitched along with him.’
    • ‘I hitched out to Joshua Tree to go rock climbing.’
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    1. 2.1with object Obtain (a ride) by hitchhiking.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Children are dicing with death hitching rides on the back of moving vehicles.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘He is hitching the bullock cart to the New Economy.’
    • ‘But is hitching your company to a star really the right move?’
    • ‘So this week I have been mostly hitching my wagon to VitaminQ's star.’
    • ‘The prehensile tail is muscular at the base, and it is hitched around a branch as an anchor, particularly when descending.’
    • ‘He hitches a trailer to his bike to take the children to school or go shopping.’
    • ‘They were now behind the church where people pulled up their buggies and carriages and hitched them to the posts that were set up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you need to hitch a heavy trailer, the suspension can be lowered to a suitable height.’
    • ‘Ross's Maoist back-to-nature fantasies were hitched to theories filched from the 1960s architectural avant-garde.’
    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’
      • ‘The horses were hitched up to a nearby tree, untacked, and seemed to be getting along with each other fine.’
      • ‘Reining his horse up beside Barranca he ground hitched him hoping that nothing would startle the gelding.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He caught up with her as she moved to hitch the saddle over Tempest's back.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mitchell said the cable did not break, and detectives believe something went wrong when Hart's harness was being hitched to the cable.’
      • ‘The horses had been hitched to it, and Jairdan, who was driving, was already in the driver's seat.’
      • ‘‘He's too fine a beast to be hitched to do this kind of work,’ he protested.’
      • ‘The horses were hitched up and finally everything was ready.’
      harness, yoke, saddle, bridle, hitch up, couple
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  • 1A temporary interruption or problem.

    ‘everything went without a hitch’
    • ‘Theatre Serendipity's first show of their cross-Canada Fringe-circuit tour didn't exactly go off without a hitch.’
    • ‘For some reason, software that had worked earlier without a hitch had waited until election night to omit eight precincts in the tally.’
    • ‘How can they remember if they had encountered computer hitches over the past two or three months?’
    • ‘And while, certainly, they do, many, many more trials go off 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!’
    • ‘And the good news is the European Space Agency's Mars Express appears to have gone into orbit around Mars without a hitch.’
    • ‘I'm not saying the battle plan has gone 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.’
    • ‘Luckily, the surgery was completed without a hitch and the patient was informed of the problem.’
    • ‘Blogger worked without a hitch, and I feel fine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The good news is that it all went without a hitch.’
    • ‘And hopefully, the elections will go 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.’
    • ‘I can't always count on my pre-work routine to go off 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyway, the show went on without a hitch or a bullet.’
    • ‘Improbably, the screening goes off without a hitch and, except for the 30 or 40 people who walk out, the response is very positive.’
    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.

    • ‘Lash ropes and diamond hitches are untied, the horses unpacked and then hobbled or tethered in the meadow below camp.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1North American A device for attaching one thing to another, especially the tow bar of a motor vehicle.
      ‘a trailer hitch’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't own a boat, but I have a pickup and trailer with a hitch just in case.’
      • ‘Headlights, brush guard and trailer hitch without ball are standard features.’
      • ‘Trailers and towable equipment should use quality trailer hitch or kingpin locks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Certainly the system has not been without its hitches, particularly for fleets.’
      • ‘This is a $40,000 truck, with a serious trailer hitch on it.’
      • ‘Most front mounted hitches are used for off road front mounted winches.’
      • ‘The wagon was parked directly in front of another car with a towing hitch and a speedboat directly behind it.’
      • ‘To install, slide the unit into place, pin it, and plug its electrical hookup into a lighter/accessory port or the standard hitch wiring.’
      • ‘He has access to a welding machine and can do such things as weld a trailer hitch for himself.’
      • ‘Their hand crafted tow hitches have ‘custom’ written all over them in invisible letters.’
      • ‘It's a factory crew cab that's low enough to accommodate a gooseneck hitch.’
      • ‘How had she gone from discussing the characters in the book she was reading to Archie's description of a mooring hitch?’
      • ‘Cadillac's pickup is so fancy that a trailer hitch is optional.’
      • ‘A gooseneck hitch mount may require lubrication and should be checked for condition, especially the adjustment bolts on the tongue tube.’
      • ‘Simply attach a trailer ball to the ATV's back hitch and your powerful machine becomes a hauling wonder.’
      • ‘If a trailer starts to sway, it transfers this motion to the back of the car through the hitch.’
  • 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’
    • ‘The Admiral recruited me after I had served a 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.’
    • ‘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 couple, who have both been married before, are getting hitched at St John's Church on Saturday.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The soaring cost of getting married has inspired a council to help couples get hitched on the cheap.’
      • ‘Last weekend, for example, my friends Josh and Heather got hitched.’
      • ‘The pair met on the set of her latest film, ‘Sugar And Spice’ and got hitched three weeks ago in Northern California.’
      • ‘I'm reminded of a story my pa told me about how he got hitched.’
      • ‘They met in actors' high school - Professional Children's School in Manhattan - and swiftly got hitched at a quaint country church.’
      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.

      • ‘At an early age she decided to hitch her wagon to a star and become rich and famous.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ginny had to learn a lesson - to hitch her wagon to a star, but not to lose sight of the job at hand.’
      • ‘It starts with the head coach, who might be said to heed Ralph Waldo Emerson, and hitch his wagon to a star.’
      • ‘We should aim for the very highest: hitch our wagon to a star so to speak.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Diya is all prepared to hitch her wagon to a star.’
      • ‘But much better things are coming, and I'd rather hitch my wagon to a star than to a toad.’
      • ‘With a dream deep in his heart, a man is spontaneously driven to hitch his wagon to a star.’


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