Definition of sew in English:


Line breaks: sew
Pronunciation: /səʊ

verb (past participle sewn /səʊn/ or sewed)

[with object]
1Join, fasten, or repair (something) by making stitches with a needle and thread or a sewing machine: she sewed the seams and hemmed the border [no object]: I don’t even sew very well
More example sentences
  • These patchwork blocks are sewn into strips, then joined with plain-fabric strips.
  • Fold the remaining two pieces of ribbon in half, and sew the folded ends just inside of where you stitched the strap.
  • On the armhole seams, I sewed them as usual, setting in the sleeves to the garment, right sides together.
stitch, machine stitch;
seam, hem, tack, baste;
attach, fasten
darn, mend, repair, patch
archaic clout
1.1 [with object and adverbial] Attach (something) to something else by sewing: she could sew the veil on properly in the morning
More example sentences
  • A Velcro tab is sewn into the inside of the hood to attach a pacifier.
  • Finally, the attendant picked up the pacifier, attached it to a ribbon, and sewed it to the child's shirt.
  • She had on a white, sheer veil with pearls sewn into the hem.
1.2Make (a garment) by sewing: the two sisters sewed their own dresses
More example sentences
  • The men teach their sons hunting and fishing skills, as well as how to sew their own simple garments.
  • While courting Jeremy's mother in the fifties, he sewed her a dress for every date they had.
  • She had never owned a pair of gloves or any dress but those sewn by her or her mother's hands.


Old English siwan, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin suere and Greek suein.

Phrasal verbs

sew something up

informal Bring something to a favourable conclusion: they had the match sewn up by half-time
More example sentences
  • Two drop goals sewed the game up with five minutes left and a late interception try merely gave the scoreline a flattering look.
  • Town spurned a fine chance to sew it up with five minutes remaining when Stephen Cross was put clear by substitute Sean Pooley but shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
  • Stand-in captain Kevin Nolan sewed things up in stoppage time with a clinical finish to give Bolton their first league victory in three games.
secure, clinch, pull off, bring off, settle, conclude, bring to a successful conclusion, complete, finalize, tie up, seal, set the seal on
informal swing
Achieve exclusive control over something: the courier market has been more or less sewn up by two companies

Definition of sew in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day deictic
Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...