1. something made up of an incongruous variety of pieces or parts; hodgepodge: a patchwork of verse forms.
  2. work made of pieces of cloth or leather of various colors or shapes sewed together, used especially for covering quilts, cushions, etc.


  1. resembling a patchwork, especially in being makeshift, irregular, or improvised: a patchwork policy of dispensing foreign aid.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make as patchwork: She specializes in patchworking skirts.
  2. to assemble or connect in making patchwork: to patchwork neckties into bedspreads.


  1. needlework done by sewing pieces of different materials together
  2. something, such as a theory, made up of various partsa patchwork of cribbed ideas

n.“work composed of patches,” 1690s, from patch (n.1) + work (n.). As an adjective from 1713.

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