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hew

[hyoo or, often, yoo] /hyu or, often, yu/
verb (used with object), hewed, hewed or hewn, hewing.
1.
to strike forcibly with an ax, sword, or other cutting instrument; chop; hack.
2.
to make, shape, smooth, etc., with cutting blows:
to hew a passage through the crowd; to hew a statue from marble.
3.
to sever (a part) from a whole by means of cutting blows (usually followed by away, off, out, from, etc.):
to hew branches from the tree.
4.
to cut down; fell:
to hew wood; trees hewed down by the storm.
verb (used without object), hewed, hewed or hewn, hewing.
5.
to strike with cutting blows; cut:
He hewed more vigorously each time.
6.
to uphold, follow closely, or conform (usually followed by to):
to hew to the tenets of one's political party.
Origin of hew
900
before 900; Middle English hewen, Old English hēawan; cognate with German hauen, Old Norse hǫggva; akin to haggle
Related forms
hewable, adjective
hewer, noun
unhewable, adjective
unhewed, adjective
Can be confused
hew, hue, Hugh.
Synonyms
2. form.
Synonym Study
1. See cut.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hew
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I intend to hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may," the statement said.

    Spring Street James H. Richardson
  • We will mark a straight line on the log and hew to that line.

    Evening Round Up

    William Crosbie Hunter
  • I guess I can wait till they've begun to hew out their underpinnin'.

    Country Neighbors

    Alice Brown
  • The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry.

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
  • They draw their long scalping-knives, and hew off broad steaks.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • After this, we had to hew a path for ourselves through the forest.

    On the Banks of the Amazon W.H.G. Kingston
  • Then it took him but a short time to hew his way through the rock.

    The Lilac Fairy Book Andrew Lang
British Dictionary definitions for hew

hew

/hjuː/
verb hews, hewing, hewed, hewed, hewn (hjuːn)
1.
to strike (something, esp wood) with cutting blows, as with an axe
2.
(transitive) often foll by out. to shape or carve from a substance
3.
(transitive; often foll by away, down, from, off, etc) to sever from a larger or another portion
4.
(US & Canadian) (intransitive) often foll by to. to conform (to a code, principle, etc)
Derived Forms
hewer, noun
Word Origin
Old English hēawan; related to Old Norse heggva, Old Saxon hāwa, Old High German houwan, Latin cūdere to beat

HEW

abbreviation (in the US)
1.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
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 hew
v.

Old English heawan "to chop, hack, gash" (class VII strong verb; past tense heow, past participle heawen), earlier geheawan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwan (cf. Old Norse hoggva, Old Frisian hawa, Old Saxon hauwan, Middle Dutch hauwen, Dutch houwen, Old High German houwan, German hauen "to cut, strike, hew"), from PIE root *kau- "to hew, strike" (cf. Old Church Slavonic kovo, Lithuanian kauju "to beat, forge;" Latin cudere "to strike, beat;" Middle Irish cuad "beat, fight").

Weak past participle hewede appeared 14c., but hasn't displaced hewn. Seemingly contradictory sense of "hold fast, stick to" (in phrase hew to) developed from hew to the line "stick to a course," literally "cut evenly with an axe or saw," first recorded 1891. Related: Hewed; hewing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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