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[need-l-wurk] /ˈnid lˌwɜrk/
the art, process, or product of working with a needle, especially in embroidery, needlepoint, tapestry, quilting, and appliqué.
the occupation or employment of a person skilled in embroidery, needlepoint, etc.
Also called needlecraft, stitchery.
Origin of needlework
1350-1400; Middle English nedle werk. See needle, work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for needlework
Historical Examples
  • With needlework it is the same story: commercial thrift has degraded that craft.

    Change in the Village (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt
  • I have always dreamed of myself as a child learning to do needlework.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Then she got supper, while her sisters resumed their needlework.

    The Copy-Cat and Other Stories Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • She took up some needlework she had been engaged on, and sat down on a sofa.

    That Boy Of Norcott's Charles James Lever
  • Rhoda gave up her work and settled down to keep house and do needlework.

    The Lee Shore Rose Macaulay
  • He was not so well as he had been in the spring, and lately he had not been able to help his mother with her needlework.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • needlework and intellectual improvement are naturally in a state of warfare.

  • “I am not good at needlework, but I can hem and put on buttons,” she pleaded.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • There still remains a curious specimen of her needlework made for a sister-in-law, my mother.

    Memoir of Jane Austen James Edward Austen-Leigh
  • She placed her needlework in her lap and reached over to stroke his head.

    Spring Street James H. Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for needlework


work done with a needle, esp sewing and embroidery
the result of such work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for needlework

"sewing, embroidery, etc.," late 14c., from needle (n.) + work (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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