from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To fasten, connect, or attach.
  • intransitive verb To move or raise by pulling or jerking.
  • intransitive verb Informal To get (a ride) by hitchhiking.
  • intransitive verb Slang To marry.
  • intransitive verb To move jerkily.
  • intransitive verb To move or walk haltingly.
  • intransitive verb Informal To hitchhike.
  • noun Any of various knots used as a temporary fastening.
  • noun A device used to connect one thing to another.
  • noun A short jerking motion; a tug.
  • noun A hobble or limp.
  • noun An impediment or a delay.
  • noun A term of service, especially of military service.
  • noun Informal A free ride obtained along a road.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To move by jerks or with pauses or rests; hop; hobble; halt; limp, literally or figuratively: as, to hitch along on the ground; verse that hitches.
  • To be fastened, entangled, or snarled; catch.
  • To strike the feet together in going; interfere, as a horse.
  • To get on with another, as if in harness; work smoothly together.
  • To pull up; raise by jerks.
  • To fasten, especially in a temporary or occasional way; make fast; tether; tie up by means of a hook, a ring, a bridle, a rope, etc.
  • Nautical, to cover with a network of twine or small cord, worked with one end.
  • noun In mining:
  • noun A hole or pocket made to receive the end of a timber.
  • noun The sudden stoppage of a pumping-engine.
  • noun In yachting, a tack.
  • noun A large chub, Lavinia exilicauda, found in the waters of California. Also chi.
  • To catch or dig into: said specifically of a tool that digs too deeply into a piece of work that is being cut.
  • In mining, to dig or pick (pockets) to receive the ends of timbers.
  • noun A pull or jerk upward: as, to give one's trousers a hitch.
  • noun The act of catching or fastening, as on a hook, a post, etc.
  • noun A halt; an impediment; a stoppage; an obstruction, especially of an unexpected and temporary nature: as, a hitch in the proceedings; a hitch in one's gait.
  • noun In mining, a slight fault or dislocation.
  • noun Temporary assistance; timely help: as, to lend one a hitch.
  • noun Nautical, a knot or noose in a rope for making it fast to another rope or to a spar or other object: as, a clove hitch, a rolling hitch, etc.
  • noun plural In whaling, the fastening of their on strap on the socket of a toggle-iron.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To hitchhike; -- mostly used in the phrase to hitch a ride.
  • transitive verb To become entangled or caught; to be linked or yoked; to unite; to cling.
  • transitive verb To move interruptedly or with halts, jerks, or steps; -- said of something obstructed or impeded.
  • transitive verb engraving To hit the legs together in going, as horses; to interfere.
  • transitive verb To hook; to catch or fasten as by a hook or a knot; to make fast, unite, or yoke.
  • transitive verb To move with hitches.
  • transitive verb [Colloq.] To attach, as a horse, to a vehicle; as, hitch up the gray mare.
  • noun A catch; anything that holds, as a hook; an impediment; an obstacle; an entanglement.
  • noun The act of catching, as on a hook, etc.
  • noun A stop or sudden halt; a stoppage; an impediment; a temporary obstruction; an obstacle
  • noun A sudden movement or pull; a pull up.
  • noun (Naut.) A knot or noose in a rope which can be readily undone; -- intended for a temporary fastening
  • noun (Geol.) A small dislocation of a bed or vein.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sudden pull.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably from Middle English hytchen, icchen, to move, jerk.]


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  • ... I learned to harness and hitch and work a team. Wendell Berry "A Native Hill"

    July 19, 2008