9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[seem-stris or, esp. British, sem-] /ˈsim strɪs or, esp. British, ˈsɛm-/
a woman whose occupation is sewing.
Also, sempstress.
Origin of seamstress
1605-15; seamst(e)r + -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for seamstress
  • Her job, as a seamstress in a department store, did not involve much standing.
  • They had a seamstress on call in case anything happened.
  • The seamstress then sewed ten quilts, each composed of one of the code's patterns.
  • Employees complained of eyestrain, the seamstress struggled to thread her needle, and workers strained to find stains in clothing.
  • He remarked to the seamstress that he believed his goats were the kindest and best goats in the world.
  • She enjoyed cooking, sewing, and was an exceptional seamstress.
British Dictionary definitions for seamstress


a woman who sews and makes clothes, esp professionally
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 seamstress

1640s, with -ess + seamster (also sempster), from Old English seamestre "sewer, tailor, person whose work is sewing," from seam. Originally indicating a woman, but after a while the fem. ending -estre no longer was felt as such and a new one added.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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