Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
sew (someone or something) up
1. To close an open wound in a person with stitches. We have to sew him up quickly after we're done repairing the bone. It turns out the doctors left a sponge inside my abdomen before sewing me back up.
2. To close one or multiple openings in something by sewing, especially in an attempt to repair or mend it. I had to use fishing line to sew up the hole in the sail. Would you mind sewing these pants up for me?
3. To successfully conclude or settle some dealing, activity, or endeavor. I was finally able to sew the contract up with the other firm. She seems to have sewn up a victory in the last days of the election.
4. To gain and maintain total control over something. There have been a few rival companies, but most would agree that they've sewn up the market at this point.
sew someone or something up
1. Lit. to stitch together an opening in someone or something. The surgeon sewed the patient up and pronounced the operation a success. This is torn. Can you sew up this rip?
2. Fig. to complete one's dealings with or discussion of someone or something. It's time to sew this up and go home. I think we can sew up the shipping contract this afternoon and get on to someone else. Let's sew up this last matter and go.
1. Complete successfully, as in Our team has sewn up the championship. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
2. Gain complete control of, monopolize, as in Our restaurant hopes to sew up the town's takeout business. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
1. To mend or repair something by sewing: I sewed up the tear in my pants. The tailor sewed the hole up.
2. To make certain that some victory or prize is attained or achieved: The candidate sewed up the election by winning Florida. We sewed the game up with a goal in the fourth quarter.