Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make, repair, or fasten by stitching, as with a needle and thread or a sewing machine: sew a dress; sew on a button.
  • transitive v. To furnish with stitches for the purpose of closing, fastening, or attaching: sew an incision closed.
  • intransitive v. To work with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
  • sew up Informal To complete successfully: Our team has sewn up the championship.
  • sew up Informal To gain complete control of; monopolize.
  • sew up Informal To make sure of: campaign strategists who were trying to sew up the election results.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To use a needle to pass thread repeatedly through (pieces of fabric) in order to join them together.
  • v. To use a needle to pass thread repeatedly through pieces of fabric in order to join them together.
  • v. To drain, as a pond, for taking the fish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Juice; gravy; a seasoned dish; a delicacy.
  • transitive v. To follow; to pursue; to sue.
  • transitive v. To unite or fasten together by stitches, as with a needle and thread.
  • transitive v. To close or stop by ssewing; -- often with up.
  • transitive v. To inclose by sewing; -- sometimes with up.
  • intransitive v. To practice sewing; to work with needle and thread.
  • transitive v. To drain, as a pond, for taking the fish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To unite, join, or attach by means of a thread, twine, wire, or other flexible material, with or without the aid of a needle, awl, or other tool.
  • To put together or construct, or to repair, as a garment, by means of a needle and thread.
  • n. Juice; broth; gravy; hence, a pottage; a made dish.
  • To drain dry, as land; drain off, as water.
  • In falconry, to wipe: said of a hawk that cleans its beak.
  • To ooze out.
  • n. A drain; a sewer.
  • To serve at table, as by carving, tasting, etc.
  • An obsolete spelling of sue.
  • An obsolete or dialectal preterit of sow.
  • In bookbinding, to pass the thread separately through the creased fold of each section of (an unbound book).

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

  • v. fasten by sewing; do needlework
  • v. create (clothes) with cloth

Etymologies

Middle English sewen, from Old English seowian; see syū- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sewen, seowen, sowen, from Old English sīwian, sēowian, sēowan ("to sew, mend, patch, knit together, link, unite"), from Proto-Germanic *siwjanan (“to sew”), from Proto-Indo-European *sīw- (“to sew”). Cognate with Scots sew ("to sew"), North Frisian saie, sei ("to sew"), Saterland Frisian säie ("to sew"), Danish sy, Polish szyć, Russian шить, Swedish sy. Related to seam. (Wiktionary)
Related to sewer ("a drain"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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