Definition of steek in US English:


(also stick, steik)


Northumberland, English Regional, Irish English, Scottish, Northern
  • 1A stitch in sewing or knitting. Also in figurative contexts.

  • 2In emphatic use: a ‘stitch’ of clothing or fabric; the smallest or least piece of clothing or fabric.


English Regional, North
rare, historical
  • A strike by colliers or keelmen.


Irish English, English Regional, Scottish, Northern
  • 1with object To shut, fasten (a door, window, gate, etc.). Also with to, †up.

  • 2with object To shut up (a place); to close securely (a place or receptacle); to lock up. Also with up.

  • 3with object To shut, close (one's mouth, eyes, ears, etc.), especially so as not to speak, see, or hear, something unwelcome.

  • 4Especially of a door: to close, shut.


Irish English, English Regional, North, Scottish, Northern
  • 1no object To stab or pierce (a person or animal) with a spear, sword, knife, or other weapon; to kill by stabbing. Also of an animal: to butt or gore with its horn or horns. Also figurative.

  • 2With adverb or prepositional phrase: to put (something) in a specified place or position; to fasten or stick in position.

  • 3no object To be unable to progress; to be brought to a standstill; to become stuck; (of a boat) to become grounded. Also in figurative contexts in phrases such as "to steek in the briers", "to steek in the clay", etc.: †to be in difficulties or trouble (obsolete).


Northumberland, English Regional, Scottish
  • 1with object To sew, to stitch; to embroider.

  • 2no object To sew.


Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Allan Ramsay (1684–1758), poet. Either (i) from steek<br>early 19th century; earliest use found in Picture of Newcastle upon Tyne. Apparently reflecting a regional pronunciation of stick, perhaps reinforced by association with steek<br>Middle English (in an earlier sense). Probably an extended use of steek (although this is first attested later), but the semantic development is not entirely clear<br>Middle English; earliest use found in Layamon (fl. 1250), poet. Cognate with Old Frisian steka (West Frisian stekke), Middle Dutch steken (Dutch steken), Old Saxon stekan (Middle Low German steken), Old High German stehhan (Middle High German, German stechen) from a variant (perhaps with a -mutation or an irregular ablaut development) of the Germanic base of stick<br>early 16th century. Either (i) the reflex of an otherwise unattested northern variant of stitch.