Definitions

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

  • noun A single complete movement of a threaded needle in sewing or surgical suturing.
  • noun A single loop of thread or yarn made with an implement such as a sewing or knitting needle.
  • noun A single loop or knot of thread used in closing a wound or incision in surgery; a suture.
  • noun A way of arranging the threads in sewing, knitting, crocheting, or suturing.
  • noun A sudden sharp pain, especially in the side. synonym: pain.
  • noun Informal An article of clothing.
  • noun Informal The least part; a bit.
  • intransitive verb To fasten or join with stitches.
  • intransitive verb To mend or repair with stitches.
  • intransitive verb To decorate or ornament, as with stitches.
  • intransitive verb To fasten together with staples or thread.
  • intransitive verb To make stitches; sew, knit, crochet, or suture.
  • idiom (in stitches) Laughing uncontrollably.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In weaving, to unite by concealed threads, either warp or filling or both, (two or more fabrics), so that they shall appear as one, forming a two-ply, three-ply, etc., fabric.
  • In bookbinding, to pass a thread or flexible wire through perforations made near the back fold of the assembled sections of (an unbound book).
  • To unite by stitches; sew.
  • To ornament with stitches.
  • In agriculture, to form into ridges.
  • To mend or unite with a needle and thread: as, to stitch up a rent; to stitch up an artery.
  • To sew; make stitches.
  • noun Same as suture.
  • noun An acute sudden pain like that produced by the thrust of a needle; a sharp spasmodic pain, especially in the intercostal muscles: as, a stitch in the side. Such pains in the side may be myalgic, neuralgic, pleuritic, or due to muscular cramp.
  • noun A contortion; a grimace; a twist of the face.
  • noun In sewing: One movement of a threaded needle, passing in and out of the fabric, and uniting two parts by the thread, which is drawn tight after each insertion.
  • noun The part of the thread left in the fabric by this movement.
  • noun In knitting, netting, crochet, embroidery, lace-making, etc.: One whole movement of the implement or implements used, as knitting-needles, bobbins, hook, etc.
  • noun The result of this movement, shown in the work itself.
  • noun The kind or style of work produced by stitching: as, buttonhole-stitch; cross-stitch; pillowlace stitch; by extension, a kind or style of work with the loom. For stitches in lace, see point. See also whip-stitch.
  • noun Distance passed over at one time; stretch; distance; way.
  • noun In agriculture, a space between two double furrows in plowed ground; a furrow or ridge.
  • noun A bit of clothing; a rag: as, he had not a dry stitch on.
  • noun In bookbinding, a connection of leaves or pieces of paper, through perforations an inch or so apart, with thread or wire.
  • noun (See also backstitch, chain-stitch, crewel-stitch, cross-stitch, feather-stitch, hemstitch, lock-stitch, rope-stitch, spider-stitch, stem-stitch, streak-stitch, etc.)

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

  • transitive verb To form stitches in; especially, to sew in such a manner as to show on the surface a continuous line of stitches.
  • transitive verb To sew, or unite together by stitches.
  • transitive verb (Agric.) To form land into ridges.
  • transitive verb to mend or unite with a needle and thread.
  • intransitive verb To practice stitching, or needlework.
  • noun A single pass of a needle in sewing; the loop or turn of the thread thus made.
  • noun A single turn of the thread round a needle in knitting; a link, or loop, of yarn
  • noun A space of work taken up, or gone over, in a single pass of the needle; hence, by extension, any space passed over; distance.
  • noun A local sharp pain; an acute pain, like the piercing of a needle.
  • noun obsolete A contortion, or twist.
  • noun colloq. Any least part of a fabric or dress.
  • noun A furrow.
  • noun An arrangement of stitches, or method of stitching in some particular way or style
  • noun See in the Vocabulary.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English stiche, from Old English stice, sting; see steig- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English stiċian

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English stiche, from Old English stiċe ("a prick, puncture, stab, thrust with a pointed implement, pricking sensation, stitch, pain in the side, sting"), from Proto-Germanic *stikiz (“prick, piercing, stitch”), from Proto-Indo-European *steg- (“to stab, pierce”). Cognate with Dutch steek ("prick, stitch"), German Stich ("a prick, piercing, stitch"), Old English stician ("to stick, stab, pierce, prick"). More at stick.

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Examples

  • Turn, chain 3, 1 dc in same stitch, 1 dc in next stitch, * 2 dc in next stitch, 1 dc in next stitch* [36 dc].

    iToot Stream 2010

  • * Dc in next stitch, slip stitch in same stitch* Slip stitch into the chain 1.

    iToot Stream 2010

  • 'Net' ... fascinating piece by Bob Geldof in today's Belfast Telegraph in which Sir Bob rather blows the whistle on what he calls a stitch up by Sir Patrick McCormack's Northern Ireland Affairs committee …

    Slugger O'Toole 2009

  • 'Net' ... fascinating piece by Bob Geldof in today's Belfast Telegraph in which Sir Bob rather blows the whistle on what he calls a stitch up by Sir Patrick McCormack's Northern Ireland Affairs committee …

    Slugger O'Toole 2009

  • 'Net' ... fascinating piece by Bob Geldof in today's Belfast Telegraph in which Sir Bob rather blows the whistle on what he calls a stitch up by Sir Patrick McCormack's Northern Ireland Affairs committee …

    Slugger O'Toole 2009

  • I agree that garter stitch is demanding, somehow stocking stitch is more forgiving.

    Jean's Knitting Jean 2009

  • Garter stitch is tough, and there are imperfections.

    Jean's Knitting Jean 2009

  • Garter stitch is very demanding, and I think there were also faults in my alignment of the mitres.

    Jean's Knitting Jean 2009

  • A machine stitch is better and more professional looking, but you can sew a garment together by hand.

    "The Pink Rose" by Federico Andreotti (1847-1930) 2009

  • Garter stitch is tough, and there are imperfections.

    Archive 2009-03-01 Jean 2009

Comments

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  • slang for a laugh or a person who has a great sense of humor and makes us laugh.

    That's a stitch! or You're a stitch!

    February 24, 2008

  • Ha ha ha! You leave me in stitches!

    February 24, 2008

  • I think that usage comes from the idea of laughing so hard you get a stitch. Am I right?

    July 18, 2008