v. sewed, sewn (sōn) or sewed, sew·ing, sews
1. To make, repair, or fasten by stitching, as with a needle and thread or a sewing machine: sew a dress; sew on a button.
2. To furnish with stitches for the purpose of closing, fastening, or attaching: sew an incision closed.
To work with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
sew up Informal
1. To complete successfully: Our team has sewn up the championship.
2. To gain complete control of; monopolize.
3. To make sure of: campaign strategists who were trying to sew up the election results.
[Middle English sewen, from Old English seowian; see syū- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.