American English

Definition of stitch noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] one of the small lines of thread that you can see on a piece of cloth after it has been sewn; the action that produces this Try to keep the stitches small and straight.
  2. 2[countable] one of the small circles of wool that you make around the needle when you are knitting to drop a stitch (= to lose one that you have made) The knitting should be 120 stitches wide. to cast stitches on/off (= to add or remove them)
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] (especially in compounds) a particular style of sewing or knitting that you use to make the pattern you want chain stitch
  4. 4[countable] a short piece of thread, etc. that doctors use to sew the edges of a wound together The cut needed eight stitches. I had six stitches in my foot after the accident. I'm having my stitches out today. Topic CollocationsInjuriesbeing injured have a fall/an injury receive/suffer/sustain a serious injury/a hairline fracture/a gunshot wound/a concussion/whiplash injuries hurt/injure your ankle/back/leg damage the brain/an ankle ligament/your liver/the optic nerve/the skin pull/strain/tear a hamstring/ligament/muscle/tendon sprain/twist your ankle/wrist break a bone/your collarbone/your leg/three ribs fracture/crack your skull break/chip/knock out/lose a tooth burst/perforate your eardrum dislocate your finger/hip/jaw/shoulder/elbow bruise/cut/graze your arm/knee/shoulder burn/scald yourself/your tongue bang/bump/hit your elbow/head/knee (on/against something)treating injuries treat somebody for burns/a head injury/a stab wound examine/clean/dress/bandage/treat a bullet wound repair a damaged/torn ligament/tendon/cartilage amputate/cut off an arm/a finger/a foot/a leg/a limb put on (formal) apply/take off a Band-Aid™/a sterile dressing/a bandage need/require/put in/get/take out stitches put on/rub on (formal) apply cream/ointment/lotion have/receive/undergo physical therapy
  5. 5[countable, usually singular] a sudden pain in the side of your body, usually caused by running or laughing Can we slow down? I have a stitch.
  6. Idioms
    in stitches (informal)
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    laughing a lot The play had us in stitches.
    not have a stitch on, not be wearing a stitch (informal)
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    to be naked
    a stitch in time (saves nine) (saying)
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    it is better to deal with something immediately because if you wait it may become worse or more difficult and cause extra work
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stitch