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sew1

[soh] /soʊ/
verb (used with object), sewed, sewn or sewed, sewing.
1.
to join or attach by stitches.
2.
to make, repair, etc., (a garment) by such means.
3.
to enclose or secure with stitches:
to sew flour in a bag.
4.
to close (a hole, wound, etc.) by means of stitches (usually followed by up).
verb (used without object), sewed, sewn or sewed, sewing.
5.
to work with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
Verb phrases
6.
sew up,
  1. Informal. to get or have a monopoly of; control exclusively.
  2. Informal. to complete or conclude (arrangements, negotiations, etc.) successfully:
    They were about to sew up the deal when the argument started.
  3. to gain or be assured of:
    He tried to sew up as many votes as possible before the convention.
Origin of sew1
900
before 900; Middle English sewen, Old English siw(i)an; cognate with Old High German siuwan, Gothic siujan, Latin suere (see suture); akin to seam
Related forms
sewable, adjective, noun

sew2

[soo] /su/ Nautical
verb (used with object), sewed, sewing.
1.
to ground (a vessel) at low tide (sometimes fol by up).
verb (used without object), sewed, sewing.
2.
(of a vessel) to be grounded at low tide.
noun
3.
the amount of additional water necessary to float a grounded vessel.
Origin
1505-15; < Middle French sewer, aphetic variant of essewer < Vulgar Latin *exaquāre, equivalent to Latin ex- ex-1 + aqu(a) water + -āre infinitive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sew
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was trying to sew and care for the children at the same time.

    The Best Policy Elliott Flower
  • Here I must bide, and talk and sew and spin, and spin and sew and talk.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • This machine would make a good backstitch and sew a seam straight forward.

  • Roll the veal round it, and sew it or tie it securely with twine.

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • sew them in your chest protector, or wherever people keep valuables.

    The Man in Lower Ten Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for sew

sew

/səʊ/
verb sews, sewing, sewed, sewn, sewed
1.
to join or decorate (pieces of fabric, etc) by means of a thread repeatedly passed through with a needle or similar implement
2.
(transitive; often foll by on or up) to attach, fasten, or close by sewing
3.
(transitive) to make (a garment, etc) by sewing
See also sew up
Word Origin
Old English sēowan; related to Old Norse sӯja, Gothic siujan, Old High German siuwen, Latin suere to sew, Sanskrit sīvjati he sews
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 sew
v.

Old English siwian "to stitch, sew, mend, patch, knit together," earlier siowian, from Proto-Germanic *siwjanan (cf. Old Norse syja, Swedish sy, Danish sye, Old Frisian sia, Old High German siuwan, Gothic siujan "to sew"), from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew" (cf. Sanskrit sivyati "sews," sutram "thread, string;" Greek hymen "thin skin, membrane," hymnos "song;" Latin suere "to sew, sew together;" Old Church Slavonic šijo "to sew," šivu "seam;" Lettish siuviu, siuti "to sew," siuvikis "tailor;" Russian švec "tailor"). Related: Sewed; sewing. To sew (something) up "bring it to a conclusion" is a figurative use attested by 1904.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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