Share this entry

Share this page

sew

Syllabification: sew

Definition of sew in English:

verb (past participle sewn /sōn/ or sewed /sōd/)

[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.
Synonyms
1.1Attach (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.
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.

Origin

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

Phrasal verbs

sew something up

1
informal Bring something to a favorable conclusion: he sank a 3-pointer to sew up a 120–118 victory
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.
1.1Achieve exclusive control over something: the U.S. courier market has been more or less sewn up by two companies
Synonyms
secure, clinch, pull off, bring off, settle, conclude, complete, finalize, tie up
informal swing

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing