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

  • n. Openwork embroidery in which the ground fabric is cut away from the design.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of embroidery in which intervening fabric is cut away

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ancient term for embroidery, esp. applied to the earliest form of lace, or to that early embroidery on linen and the like, from which the manufacture of lace was developed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. and adjective
  • n. In embroidery, applique work: so called because the pattern is cut out and sewed upon the ground.
  • n. The earliest form of lace; fine needlework upon linen or silk from which a part of the background was cut away, leaving the design pierced. See lace.
  • Made of cut-work.
  • n. In typographic printing, the presswork of woodcuts or their electrotypes, or of illustrations of any kind, that requires more skill than that given to ordinary type-work.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. embroidery in which the design is outlined in a buttonhole stitch and the intervening material is cut away


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • No such cutwork is needed on Twilight, which is merely better suited to the large screen than the large print, where within its 600 pages it was at worst, plodding, and at best, tendentious.

    Interviews with various vampires

  • It was rimed with dust and white mildew, but the cutwork around the ankle was distinctive.


  • An uncommonly beautiful vegetable (I think of it as Nature's artistic cutwork), the nadur is used extensively in some Northern regions of India, but is a completely new vegetable to me.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • Among the pieces on display are cutwork diadems, funerary masks, ornaments and ritual containers.

    Going for the Gold

  • There was a severe 40's suit that had the letters of the airline done in huge cutwork, it was the entire lapel on one side.

    Airship Hostesses - A Dress A Day

  • Knowing her dilemma, I offered her my Bahian ritual clothing, a full white lace skirt that would have done Carmen Miranda proud topped with a blouse of intricate cutwork embroidery that would have made Ralph Lauren weep with delight.

    My New Orleans

  • Other elegant cloths, such as those of lace and fancy cutwork, should be reserved for dinner or more formal luncheons.


  • The old-fashioned electric rotary irons or “mangles” that are now making a modest comeback let you iron many tablecloths almost without effort but produce less good results on cloths with extensive cutwork or embroidery.


  • When buying pillowcases, look to see that embroidery, lace, or cutwork is positioned on the pillowcase in places where your face will not rest upon it.


  • Cautious, conservative laundering is required for antique or heirloom linens; linens of very fine or delicate construction; less sturdy or lower-quality damasks; sheer fabrics; loose weaves, or weaves with long floats or low-twist yarns; lace; embroidered especially hand-embroidered fabrics; cutwork; and similar linens.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.