- to strike forcibly with an ax, sword, or other cutting instrument; chop; hack.
- to make, shape, smooth, etc., with cutting blows: to hew a passage through the crowd; to hew a statue from marble.
- 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.
- to cut down; fell: to hew wood; trees hewed down by the storm.
- to strike with cutting blows; cut: He hewed more vigorously each time.
- to uphold, follow closely, or conform (usually followed by to): to hew to the tenets of one's political party.
Origin of hew
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hewed
Mostly, the night hewed to its mission: attending to burgeoning design houses.CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards Honor the Next Big Designers
November 15, 2011
But all that they hacked and hewed, picked and hollowed, was labor lost.
Our table was made of puncheons split with a wedge and hewed with a broadax.
Our floor was of maple split with wedges and hewed out with a broadax.
It was Hagen drew his sword and took the proud Brynild and hewed her asunder.Epic and Romance
W. P. Ker
He thought he could locate the place where Samuel took Agag and hewed him to pieces.General Gordon
- to strike (something, esp wood) with cutting blows, as with an axe
- (tr often foll by out) to shape or carve from a substance
- (tr; often foll by away, down, from, off, etc) to sever from a larger or another portion
- (intr often foll by to) US and Canadian to conform (to a code, principle, etc)
- Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
Word Origin and History for hewed
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.