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[thyoo] /θyu/
Usually, thews. muscle or sinew.
thews, physical strength.
Origin of thew
before 900; Middle English; Old English thēaw custom, usage; cognate with Old High German thau (later dau) discipline; akin to Latin tuērī to watch
Related forms
thewy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for thews
Historical Examples
  • Hath he no the smooth face o' a bairn and the thews' o' Behemoth?'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • When your thews are grown it will not be on thuribles they'll spend their strength, or I'm a liar else.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • None could find fault with their thews and sinews, and as for their spirit, it is for us to see it does not fail.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • The expression upon his face showed that his will was as strong as his thews and sinews.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • And the King thought he had mightily grown in stature and thews.

  • Your thews and sinews justify me perfectly—and so, I must say, does your manner of speech.

    A True Friend Adeline Sergeant
  • thews and sinews are theirs, and an intimate knowledge of the woods.

    Sea-Dogs All!

    Tom Bevan
  • Another large class, the thews, were the absolute property of their owners.

    The Normans Sarah Orne Jewett
  • He was a boy; they were reckless giants with thews and legs of iron.

  • The brawny Arab shoulders were bent and their thews tightened.

    The Pursuit

    Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile
British Dictionary definitions for thews


muscle, esp if strong or well-developed
(pl) muscular strength
Derived Forms
thewy, adjective
thewless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English thēaw; related to Old Saxon, Old High German thau discipline, Latin tuērī to observe, tūtus secure
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 thews

Old English þeawes "customs, manners, personal qualities," plural of þeaw "habit, custom," from Proto-Germanic *thawaz (cf. Old Saxon thau "usage, custom, habit," Old High German thau "discipline"); no certain cognates outside West Germanic and of unknown origin. Meaning "bodily powers or parts indicating strength, good physique" is attested from 1560s, from notion of "good qualities." Acquired a sense of "muscular development" when it was revived by Scott (1818).



Old English þeaw; see thews.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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