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Syllabification: stitch
Pronunciation: /stiCH

Definition of stitch in English:


1A loop of thread or yarn resulting from a single pass or movement of the needle in sewing, knitting, or crocheting.
Example sentences
  • There's the strong likelihood of my stitches sliding off my needles with every movement.
  • Our modes and tonality, diverse ingredients and style unite in a tapestry of stitches belonging to different needles.
  • Students learn to do math by knitting stitches together, and to count by placing nuts into bags.
1.1A loop of thread used to join the edges of a wound or surgical incision: a neck wound requiring forty stitches
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Each pile is tied off with a surgical stitch, or suture, and then the pile is cut away.
  • When the operation is complete, the incisions are closed with stitches and the four small wounds are covered with dressings.
1.2 [usually with adjective] A method of sewing, knitting, or crocheting producing a particular pattern or design: basic embroidery stitches
More example sentences
  • In Claim 3, it will mean those stitches and the embroidery stitches.
  • Though lighter to wear, silk is not as durable as velvet, particularly when confronted with thousands of embroidery stitches.
  • As young girls learn embroidery stitches from older women, they are initiated into the culture.
1.3 [in singular, usually with negative] informal The smallest item of clothing: a man answered the door without a stitch on
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Why, if their measure is to be taken from this lass, she hasn't a stitch of clothing, let alone a periapt or weapon.
2A sudden sharp pain in the side of the body, caused by strenuous exercise: she ran with a stitch in her side
More example sentences
  • I continued running and running, even when I felt a sharp stitch at my side.
  • Her legs were starting to grow tired and sore, and a stitch of pain was erupting in her side.
  • The stitch in her side burned painfully and her legs ached.
sharp pain, stabbing pain, shooting pain, stab of pain, pang, twinge, spasm


[with object] Back to top  
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]: (stitched) hand-stitched English dresses
More example sentences
  • Once the implant is in place, the gum is stitched over it and the area is left to heal.
  • Fred had stitched fine patchwork quilts that covered the beds and hung on the walls of his house.
  • He had screamed in agony as cuts on his feet were stitched without anaesthetic.


Old English stice 'a puncture, stabbing pain', of Germanic origin; related to German Stich 'a sting, prick', also to stick2. The sense 'loop' (in sewing, etc.) arose in Middle English.


in stitches

informal Laughing uncontrollably: his unique brand of droll self-mockery had his audiences in stitches
More example sentences
  • It worked so well: the entire area was in stitches laughing, myself included.
  • By the time we reached the ship, we were all in stitches with tears running down our cheeks we were laughing so hard.
  • They all arrived at the bathroom at the same time to see their mother in stitches on the floor, laughing.

a stitch in time saves nine

proverb If you sort out a problem immediately it may save a lot of extra work later.
Example sentences
  • The lead officer said: ‘It's a case of 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.
  • Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow.



Example sentences
  • There is a fantastic range of courses on offer, with something to cater for budding artists, computer fiends, IT beginners, yoga fanatics, chefs, historians and cross stitchers.
  • In 1811, an Englishman led riots to destroy the new and efficient fabric looms installed by textile mills, which replaced many of the sewers and stitchers who had been employed by the mills.
  • In their latest public showing, the creative stitchers, who met while studying embroidery at Lancaster, have filled the Sedbergh gallery with their diverse and eye-catching work.


Example sentences
  • The mental state and discipline needed to produce the laborious, meticulous, painstaking stitchery required for the making of watertight kamiks are not evident in Irene's work.
  • Don't you like hearing compliments on your stitchery?
  • The works consisted of supports ornamented or transformed by process - through tying, binding, unraveling and sewing, as well as stitchery and photographic representation.

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