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[yoo; Dialect yoh] /yu; Dialect yoʊ/
a female sheep, especially when fully mature.
Origin of ewe
before 1000; Middle English; Old English ēowu, ēwe; cognate with Old High German ou, ouwi, Dutch ooi, Latin ovis, Greek óïs, oîs, Sanskrit ávi
Can be confused
ewe, yew, you (see usage note at you)


[ey-vey, ey-wey] /ˈeɪ veɪ, ˈeɪ weɪ/
a member of a people of Togo and Ghana, in western Africa.
the Kwa language spoken by the Ewe people. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ewes
Historical Examples
  • Secondly and finally, the money a horse would represent would buy at least twelve head of ewes.

  • Is it on corn-husks you have been feeding your ewes that they look so sickly?

    The Story of Wool Sara Ware Bassett
  • Look to the ewes' teeth, Jacob, and to their udders; see that the udders are sound.

    The Brook Kerith George Moore
  • A number of ewes and lambs one day came close to my hiding-place.

  • Possibly, high condition in the ewes may be one of the inducing causes.

    Sheep, Swine, and Poultry Robert Jennings
  • The ewes, not knowing their shorn lambs, did not make the customary signal.

    Michael Faraday J. H. Gladstone
  • The ewes and their young ought to be divided into small flocks, and have a frequent change of pasture.

    Sheep, Swine, and Poultry Robert Jennings
  • Well, it was just the lambing time, and Kirstin had to look after the ewes.

    Four Short Plays (AKA Lady Bell) Florence Eveleen Eleanore Olliffe
  • Finally the Englishman secured two ewes and a lamb, after three weeks of hunting.

  • Tie or pen all ewes that do not own their lambs until they do own them.

British Dictionary definitions for ewes


  1. a female sheep
  2. (as modifier): a ewe lamb
Word Origin
Old English ēowu; related to Old Norse ǣr ewe, Old High German ou, Latin ovis sheep, Sanskrit avi


(pl) Ewe, Ewes. a member of a Negroid people of W Africa living chiefly in the forests of E Ghana, Togo, and Benin
the language of this people, belonging to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ewes



Old English eowu, fem. of eow "sheep," from Proto-Germanic *awi, genitive *awjoz (cf. Old Saxon ewi, Old Frisian ei, Middle Dutch ooge, Dutch ooi, Old High German ouwi "sheep," Gothic aweþi "flock of sheep"), from PIE *owi- (cf. Sanskrit avih, Greek ois, Latin ovis, Lithuanian avis "sheep," Old Church Slavonic ovica "ewe," Old Irish oi "sheep," Welsh ewig "hind").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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