verb (used with or without object), noun Dialect.

Related formschaw·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for chaw

gnaw, gnash, bite, munch, chomp, grind, masticate, chump, champ, manducate

Examples from the Web for chaw

Historical Examples of chaw

  • I tell ye what you do: Give him a bone or a chunk of tough meat to chaw on.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • “Might chaw on a biscuit before I take another nap,” yawned the prisoner.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • Ain't you afraid that you might take a chaw on it, by mistake for your tobacco?

  • Then he inquired as an afterthought: “Would he snap or chaw me up a-tall?”


    Caroline Lockhart

  • Not so much as a chaw of bacon, or a blanket to lay over you nights.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

British Dictionary definitions for chaw



to chew (tobacco), esp without swallowing it


something chewed, esp a plug of tobacco
Derived Formschawer, noun
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

Word Origin and History for chaw

1520s, unexplained phonetic variant of chew (v.). OED points out the variant form chow was "very common in 16-17th c." Bartlett's "Dictionary of Americanisms" [1859] says chaw, "Although found in good authors, ... is retained, in this country as in England, only by the illiterate." Related: Chawed; chawing. The noun meaning "that which is chewed" (especially a quid of tobacco) first recorded 1709.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper