"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[pach-wurk] /ˈpætʃˌwɜrk/
something made up of an incongruous variety of pieces or parts; hodgepodge:
a patchwork of verse forms.
work made of pieces of cloth or leather of various colors or shapes sewed together, used especially for covering quilts, cushions, etc.
resembling a patchwork, especially in being makeshift, irregular, or improvised:
a patchwork policy of dispensing foreign aid.
verb (used with object)
to make as patchwork:
She specializes in patchworking skirts.
to assemble or connect in making patchwork:
to patchwork neckties into bedspreads.
Origin of patchwork
1685-95; patch1 + work
Related forms
patchworky, adjective
1. medley, jumble, mélange. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for patchwork
  • Our pledge was not merely to do a patchwork job with secondhand materials.
  • But a continent which was already a patchwork of principalities became in some places a patchwork of calendars.
  • Ethnic or group differences give way to a homogenized patchwork of unbridled individual variety.
  • Regulatory oversight was a confusing patchwork, full of holes.
  • In general the admissions-testing situation was a patchwork.
  • What has been a patchwork of green buildings in many cities is expanding to whole communities, whole neighborhoods.
  • But don't overlook the city's patchwork of neighborhoods.
  • We have a patchwork of preschools, many with weakly trained, poorly paid staff.
  • Most live in patchwork shacks of plywood and corrugated steel.
  • That's because there's a vast patchwork of grants, scholarships and loans available.
British Dictionary definitions for patchwork


needlework done by sewing pieces of different materials together
something, such as a theory, made up of various parts: a patchwork of cribbed ideas
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 patchwork

"work composed of patches," 1690s, from patch (n.1) + work (n.). As an adjective from 1713.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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