The Past Tense of Sew: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Have you ever got stuck on the correct past tense of the irregular verb sew in English grammar? This article will explain the conjugations of the word sew and also define sew and give you all the information you need about the word to master the English language.

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What Is the Definition of Sew?

The word sew is defined as:

Transitive verb 

  • to join or attach by stitches.
  • to make, repair, etc., (a garment) by such means.
  • to enclose or secure with stitches:
    • to sew flour in a bag.
  • to close (a hole, wound, etc.) by means of stitches (usually followed by up).
  • to ground (a vessel) at low tide (sometimes followed by by up).

Intransitive Verb

  • to work with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
  • (of a vessel) to be grounded at low tide.


  • the amount of additional water necessary to float a grounded vessel.

Synonyms of the Word

  • Fasten – to attach firmly or securely in place; fix securely to something else
  • Tailor – a person whose occupation is the making, mending, or altering of clothes, especially suits, coats, and other outer garments.
  • Stitch – one complete movement of a threaded needle through pieces of fabric or pieces of cloth such as to leave behind it a single loop or portion of thread, as in sewing, embroidery, or the surgical closing of wounds
  • Embroider – to produce or form in needlework
  • Bind – to encircle with a band or ligature, to fasten or secure

What Is the Past Tense of Sew?

The past tense of the word sew is sewed. 

An example of present and past tense:

Present – I can watch my mother sew for hours.

Past – I sewed together the hole in my bag to fix it.

How Do You Conjugate Sew?

Here are some verb conjugations of the English verb sew including the past tense:

Infinitive/base form: to sew

Present participle/gerund: sewing

Past participle: sewn/sewed

​Past perfect: he/she/it had sewn/sewed

Future perfect: he/she/it will have sewn/sewed

Present TenseSimple Past TenseFuture Tense
I sewsewedAm sewing
You sewsewedAre sewing
He/she/it sewssewedIs sewing
We sewsewedAre sewing
They sewsewedAre sewing

The History and Origin of the Word

The word sew can be seen recorded in history all the way back to at least the year 900 A.D. It comes from Middle English sewen and Old English before it siw(i)an.

Examples of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word sew, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently in American English. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.