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See also: Hitch


A hitch (knot that attaches to an object)


Probably from Middle English hicchen, hytchen, icchen (to move; to move as with a jerk), of obscure origin. Lacks cognates in other languages. Compare itch, hike.


  • IPA(key): /hɪtʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪtʃ


hitch (plural hitches)

  1. A sudden pull.
  2. Any of various knots used to attach a rope to an object other than another rope.[1]
  3. A fastener or connection point, as for a trailer.
    His truck sported a heavy-duty hitch for his boat.
  4. (informal) A problem, delay or source of difficulty.
    The banquet went off without a hitchThe banquet went smoothly.
    • 1961 July, “Glasgow emergency - the restoration of Clydeside steam suburban services”, in Trains Illustrated, page 432:
      The service operated according to plan on the Monday morning with only a few hitches.
    • 2008 October, Davy Rothbart, “How I caught up with dad”, in Men's Health, volume 23, number 8, ISSN 1054-4836, page 110:
      Over the next week, the hitch in my dad's stride eased a bit. But we'd run out of things to talk about.
  5. A hidden or unfavorable condition or element.
    Synonym: catch
    The deal sounds too good to be true. What's the hitch?
  6. (military, slang) A period of time spent in the military.
    She served two hitches in Vietnam.
    • 2004, June 3, Stephen J. Hedges & Mike Dorning, Chicago Tribune; Orlando Sentinel; page pg. A.1




hitch (third-person singular simple present hitches, present participle hitching, simple past and past participle hitched)

  1. (transitive) To pull with a jerk.
    She hitched her jeans up and then tightened her belt.
  2. (transitive) To attach, tie or fasten.
    Synonyms: affix, join, put together; see also Thesaurus:join
    He hitched the bedroll to his backpack and went camping.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Philander went into the next room, which was just a lean-to hitched on to the end of the shanty, and came back with a salt mackerel that dripped brine like a rainstorm. Then he put the coffee pot on the stove and rummaged out a loaf of dry bread and some hardtack.
    • 2020 December 3, Cade Metz; Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Google Researcher Says She Was Fired Over Paper Highlighting Bias in A.I.”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      The company has hitched its future to artificial intelligence — whether with its voice-enabled digital assistant or its automated placement of advertising for marketers — as the breakthrough technology to make the next generation of services and devices smarter and more capable.
  3. (informal) To marry oneself to; especially to get hitched.
    Synonyms: splice, wed; see also Thesaurus:marry
  4. (informal, transitive) Clipping of hitchhike, to thumb a ride.
    to hitch a ride
  5. (intransitive) To become entangled or caught; to be linked or yoked; to unite; to cling.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), 6th edition, London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, OCLC 21766567:
      atoms [] which at length hitched together
  6. (intransitive) To move interruptedly or with halts, jerks, or steps; said of something obstructed or impeded.
    Frank’s breath hitched in his throat when he saw the knife being pointed at him.
    • 1733-1738, Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace:
      Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), new edition, London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, OCLC 913056315:
      To ease themselves [] by hitching into another place.
  7. (intransitive, UK) To strike the legs together in going, as horses; to interfere.
    • 1686, London Gazette:
      Stolen [] A brown Gelding [] all his paces, and hitches a little in his pace.


Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Knots and Splices by Cyrus L Day, Adlard Coles Nautical, 2001