Definition of stitch in US English:

stitch

noun

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

    • ‘Our modes and tonality, diverse ingredients and style unite in a tapestry of stitches belonging to different needles.’
    • ‘The quilter first outlines her design with fine, tiny stitches, sewing front and back layers together at the same time.’
    • ‘Catherine took a few stitches with her needle, and then sat the material back on her lap.’
    • ‘You may count the stitches in a needlework more easily than with the textile actually in your hands.’
    • ‘Holding the needle thread tail, take a stitch to draw the bobbin thread to the tuck surface.’
    • ‘There's the strong likelihood of my stitches sliding off my needles with every movement.’
    • ‘There are over 400 stitches on the needles at the moment and each row is going at a torturously slow pace.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Old grandmothers sitting in a circle were stitching tiny colourful stitches on a quilt.’
    • ‘They even found a small kit for sewing stitches, just in case anyone knew how.’
    • ‘Lorinda begins designing by playing with different stitches and needles sizes.’
    • ‘Students learn to do math by knitting stitches together, and to count by placing nuts into bags.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Delicately, she took up her crochet needles once more, and started her stitch.’
    • ‘The women got down to work on it with large needles and red stitches.’
    • ‘The first person she saw was Sally, sitting on one of the chairs, sewing fine, little stitches on her handkerchief.’
    • ‘Stitch the mouth with a straight stitch, retracing the stitches as before on the ears.’
    • ‘Many is the judge whose lack of knowledge of needlework and stitches didn't prevent them staring with great interest at the costumes.’
    • ‘Crocheting, which is as easy as knitting, simply uses different stitches and a hooked needle.’
    1. 1.1 A loop of thread used to join the edges of a wound or surgical incision.
      ‘a neck wound requiring forty stitches’
      • ‘Postoperatively all the patients had healthy wounds and the stitches were removed on day 7.’
      • ‘He required stitches for both wounds but is now believed to have made a full recovery.’
      • ‘He required six stitches for a face wound.’
      • ‘The wound took thirty stitches to suture, and by the time they returned to the cabin, it was midmorning.’
      • ‘The man required stitches to close a wound to the back of his head.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a defensive midfielder was the second Stanley player in a week to require stitches to a leg wound.’
      • ‘The skin is sewn together with stitches using a tiny needle.’
      • ‘Doctors do not usually use stitches to treat puncture wounds.’
      • ‘Because the surgeon can reach the eardrum through ear canal, there is no visible incision or stitches.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Each pile is tied off with a surgical stitch, or suture, and then the pile is cut away.’
      • ‘Following the assault last October, her cheekbone was found to be fractured, her finger broken and she required 24 stitches to head 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.’
      • ‘Other lesions can be cut out entirely and the wound closed up with stitches.’
      • ‘He had 19 surgical staples in his head wounds and other stitches in his hand, shoulder and leg.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When the operation is complete, the incisions are closed with stitches and the four small wounds are covered with dressings.’
      • ‘Skin adhesive (such as Dermabond) is a way to close small wounds without stitches.’
      • ‘His wife, who is now separated from him, required 50 stitches to close the wound in her head.’
    2. 1.2usually with modifier A method of sewing, knitting, or crocheting producing a particular pattern or design.
      ‘basic embroidery stitches’
      • ‘The standard corner stitch is used for closure of tissue corners with an approximate 90-degree angle.’
      • ‘Eileen spoke about printing onto interesting papers, transferring to materials, enhancing with pens and paint, machine stitching as well as hand stitches.’
      • ‘Some machines have the capability to automatically sew a tapered satin stitch.’
      • ‘The three layers are stitched together with quilting stitches that, until very recently, were worked by hand.’
      • ‘In Claim 3, it will mean those stitches and the embroidery stitches.’
      • ‘They are made from pieces of muslin, constructed like a rag doll stuffed with scraps, with the outer surface covered with parallel darning stitches.’
      • ‘Stitch the buttonhole as usual, removing any basting stitches when finished.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This work is done in long and short darn stitch created into innumerable designs and patterns.’
      • ‘Mom taught me the basic knit stitches when I was a kid.’
      • ‘Make yourself this rainbow of a belt using two simple crochet stitches.’
      • ‘Though lighter to wear, silk is not as durable as velvet, particularly when confronted with thousands of embroidery stitches.’
      • ‘The beads were sewn on with an appliqué stitch using two needles.’
      • ‘She used satin stitches extensively for flowers and leaves, and cross stitches elsewhere.’
      • ‘The V-neck style also has extensive tonal stitch detail.’
      • ‘Each of these large areas are edged with stem or outline stitch in a contrasting colour.’
      • ‘As young girls learn embroidery stitches from older women, they are initiated into the culture.’
      • ‘I found the making up for this pattern to be a bit odd and best countered with mattress stitch.’
      • ‘He painted designs for richly embroidered ecclesiastical vestments that required satin stitch and raised work in metallic and silk threads.’
      • ‘Apply it sparingly between buttonhole stitches and let it dry before cutting them open.’
    3. 1.3informal in singular, usually with negative The smallest item of clothing.
      ‘a man answered the door without a stitch on’
      • ‘Why, if their measure is to be taken from this lass, she hasn't a stitch of clothing, let alone a periapt or weapon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But there you were without a stitch of clothing on.’
      • ‘Everyone who's normal should flop around their homes aimlessly without a stitch of clothing on at least once a month.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think everybody took nearly every stitch of clothing we had off and emptied our pockets to give them everything we could.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I just splashed up and down, not a stitch of clothing on.’
      • ‘What in the world was she doing hanging in chains from a wall, without a stitch of clothing?’
      • ‘She didn't have a stitch of clothing on her body.’
      • ‘He hadn't a stitch of sportswear to pound the streets when he took the plunge to enter the New York City Marathon.’
      • ‘THe trippers were happily munching sandwiches when they saw two women without a stitch of clothing being photographed by an older man near Scorton.’
  • 2A sudden sharp pain in the side of the body, caused by strenuous exercise.

    ‘she ran with a stitch in her side’
    • ‘‘She's coming,’ he gasps, clutching at a stitch in his side.’
    • ‘Ryan was bent over by a tree, holding a stitch in his side.’
    • ‘Her legs were starting to grow tired and sore, and a stitch of pain was erupting in her side.’
    • ‘I went to his side, breathing heavily and clutching at a stitch at my side.’
    • ‘The teachers jogged off-court, many of them out of breath, panting, or clutching stitches at their sides.’
    • ‘I continued running and running, even when I felt a sharp stitch at my 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.’
    • ‘I was already getting stitches in the side, from trying not to laugh.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She ran until she had a stitch in her side and then slowed down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Almost out of breath and with a painful stitch in my side, I forced myself into motion once again.’
    • ‘The stitch in her side burned painfully and her legs ached.’
    • ‘When Meg reached the Movement classroom, she was out of breath, blinking, and clutching a stitch at her side.’
    • ‘She clutched at a throbbing stitch in her side and ran on.’
    • ‘The stitch in her side was growing more and more painful with each step.’
    • ‘Shaking, he entered, disregarding the stitch in his side and the back of his sweat-soaked tunic clinging to his flesh.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He stopped outside his house, clutching a stitch in his 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.’
    sharp pain, stabbing pain, shooting pain, stab of pain, pang, twinge, spasm
    View synonyms

verb

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

    ‘stitch a plain seam with right sides together’
    ‘they stitched the cut on her face’
    as adjective,in combination ‘hand-stitched English dresses’
    • ‘At the end of the design, carefully stitch directly over three or four beginning stitches.’
    • ‘He had screamed in agony as cuts on his feet were stitched without anaesthetic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once the implant is in place, the gum is stitched over it and the area is left to heal.’
    • ‘Quilters don't just stitch fabric pieces together, they sew fine art.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It really is amazing to think that children as young as seven stitched samplers.’
    • ‘Stuff legs with batting and stitch ends together to form a stalk long enough to wrap around child.’
    • ‘He was taken to Frere Hospital where a large gash in his leg was stitched.’
    • ‘Beginning in the quilt center, machine stitch in the ditch along all vertical seamlines.’
    • ‘Fred had stitched fine patchwork quilts that covered the beds and hung on the walls of his house.’
    • ‘We buy cloth and patterns, and cut them out, and stitch them together.’
    • ‘Each part is then stitched together like a quilt, sometimes almost a note at a time.’
    • ‘That the poor she visited probably stitched her underwear together for a dollar a week never occurs to her.’
    • ‘Once the fabric is stitched to the inside of the boot, it will block human odor for the life of the boot.’
    • ‘To keep the quality on par with branded items, the cloth is double stitched.’
    • ‘The dresses are stitched on the institute premises by the students and displayed on a select day.’
    • ‘The victim went to the infirmary and left after a nurse stitched his wound.’
    sew, baste, tack, seam, hem
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • in stitches

    • informal Laughing uncontrollably.

      ‘his unique brand of droll self-mockery had his audiences in stitches’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He had a jocular way of telling his point of view and that often had the Senate in stitches.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It worked so well: the entire area was in stitches laughing, myself included.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The glorious absurdity of that one line had me in stitches.’
      • ‘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.’
  • a stitch in time saves nine

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

      • ‘And so for these companies, the stitch in time has indeed saved nine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The lead officer said: ‘It's a case of a stitch in time saves nine.’’
      • ‘To employ an old bromide: "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.’
      • ‘We were always taught that a stitch in time saves nine, and perhaps that is exactly the case with the health system.’
      • ‘But definitely do this; your swimmer is only 14 and a stitch in time saves nine.’
      • ‘Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow.’
      • ‘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

/stiCH//stɪtʃ/