a. A single complete movement of a threaded needle in sewing or surgical suturing: made multiple stitches.
b. A single loop of thread or yarn made with an implement such as a sewing or knitting needle.
c. A single loop or knot of thread used in closing a wound or incision in surgery; a suture.
d. A way of arranging the threads in sewing, knitting, crocheting, or suturing: used a purl stitch.
2. A sudden sharp pain, especially in the side. See Synonyms at pain.
3. Informal An article of clothing: wore not a stitch.
4. Informal The least part; a bit: didn't do a stitch of work.
v. stitched, stitch·ing, stitch·es
a. To fasten or join with stitches.
b. To mend or repair with stitches: stitched up the tear.
2. To decorate or ornament, as with stitches: "The sky was stitched with stars" (Mario Puzo).
3. To fasten together with staples or thread.
To make stitches; sew, knit, crochet, or suture.
in stitches Informal
[Middle English stiche, from Old English stice, sting; see steig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.