nee·​dle·​work | \ ˈnē-dᵊl-ˌwərk How to pronounce needlework (audio) \

Definition of needlework

1 : work done with a needle especially : work (such as embroidery) other than plain sewing
2 : the occupation of one who does needlework

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Other Words from needlework

needleworker \ ˈnē-​dᵊl-​ˌwər-​kər How to pronounce needlework (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for needlework


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Examples of needlework in a Sentence

She showed us a sample of her needlework. She still enjoys doing needlework.
Recent Examples on the Web Berlin needlework started in the early 19th century with patterns published in Germany. Helaine Fendelman And Joe Rosson, Star Tribune, "Toy Schuco Radio cars contained a tiny music box," 24 Nov. 2020 Cannon devoted herself to her children and grandchildren, but not in the bake-a-pie, doing-needlework sense. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Martha Hughes Cannon’s life was more complex than iconic role as first female state senator," 11 Oct. 2020 Her needlework, in its texture and asymmetry, resembles mosaic tiles. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, "How a Revered Studio for Artists with Disabilities Is Surviving at a Distance," 24 Sep. 2020 Like other needlework, suturing can involve a variety of stitching techniques. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Suture a Wound," 18 Aug. 2020 An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again If tie-dye doesn't float your quarantine-craft boat, keep your hands occupied with needlework instead. Betsy Cribb, Southern Living, "I Tie-Dyed Shirts for the First Time Since Middle School, and This Is What I Learned," 15 May 2020 There was no room for too muchness when a child was bent over needlework or, in the cases of the less affluent, learning duties in the kitchen. Longreads, "“The Leaky Vessel”: On Lewis Carroll and the Perils of Being Female," 27 Mar. 2020 The tattoo was done by popular tattoo artist Jonboy, known for his delicate needlework. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Cindy Crawford's son just got a face tattoo," 8 Feb. 2020 Women passed their knowledge of quilting and needlework to their daughters. Arkansas Online, "Four area artists included in SWOP exhibit," 30 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'needlework.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of needlework

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for needlework

Time Traveler

The first known use of needlework was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Needlework.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for needlework



English Language Learners Definition of needlework

: things that are made by hand with a needle and thread
: the activity or art of making needlework


nee·​dle·​work | \ ˈnē-dᵊl-ˌwərk How to pronounce needlework (audio) \

Kids Definition of needlework

1 : things made by embroidery, knitting, or needlepoint
2 : the activity or art of making things by embroidery, knitting, or needlepoint

More from Merriam-Webster on needlework

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for needlework

Nglish: Translation of needlework for Spanish Speakers

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