- to crush or grind with the teeth; masticate.
- to crush, damage, injure, etc., as if by chewing (often followed by up): The faulty paper feeder chewed the letters up.
- to make by or as if by chewing: The puppy chewed a hole in my slipper.
- to meditate on; consider deliberately (often followed by over): He chewed the problem over in his mind.
- to perform the act of crushing or grinding with the teeth.
- Informal. to chew tobacco.
- to meditate.
- an act or instance of chewing.
- something chewed or intended for chewing: a chew of tobacco; taffy chews.
- chew out, Slang. to scold harshly: The sergeant chewed out the recruits.
- chew the fat, Informal. to converse at length in a relaxed manner; chat: They liked to sit around chewing the fat.Also chew the rag.
Origin of chew
Related Wordsbite, gnaw, nibble, chomp, crunch, scrunch, rend, munch, gum, gulp, dispatch, masticate, chaw, champ, ruminate, manducate, ponder, consider, mull, deliberate
Examples from the Web for chew
She narrowed her eyes, bit her lip as if to chew over the question, and whisked some stray blond hairs away from her face.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
Was it, as some former employees allege, that the bosses bit off more than they could chew?The Godfather of Right-Wing Radio
November 23, 2014
We continuously pause to pull them out while Zalwar Khan and his companion smirk at us and chew unbothered.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
She stares at me like I've asked her how she learned to chew solid food.New York's Sexiest Kosher Corsets
August 20, 2014
They chew this thing, a real thing, they do this until they foam at the mouth.New York’s Tiniest—and Weirdest—Museum
May 29, 2014
Easton said one day that he would like to have something to chew on.The Long Labrador Trail
You mean that she did not—did not find your friend Bob something to chew upon?The Innocent Adventuress
Mary Hastings Bradley
He took a chew of tobacco and prepared to give his best attention.The Night Riders
Chew you the cud of that until the hangman's coming in the morning.The Tavern Knight
Mr. Pike bit off a chew of black plug, and shook his head ruminatively.The Treasure Trail
Marah Ellis Ryan
- to work the jaws and teeth in order to grind (food); masticate
- to bite repeatedlyshe chewed her nails anxiously
- (intr) to use chewing tobacco
- chew the fat or chew the rag slang
- to argue over a point
- to talk idly; gossip
- the act of chewing
- something that is cheweda chew of tobacco
Word Origin and History for chew
Old English ceowan "to bite, gnaw, chew," from West Germanic *keuwwan (cf. Middle Low German keuwen, Dutch kauwen, Old High German kiuwan, German kauen), from PIE root *gyeu- "to chew" (cf. Old Church Slavonic živo "to chew," Lithuanian žiaunos "jaws," Persian javidan "to chew").
Figurative sense of "to think over" is from late 14c.; to chew the rag "discusss some matter" is from 1885, apparently originally British army slang. Related: Chewed; chewing. To chew (someone) out (1948) probably is military slang from World War II. Chewing gum is by 1843, American English, originally hardened secretions of the spruce tree.
c.1200, "an act of chewing," from chew (v.). Meaning "wad of tobacco chewed at one time" is from 1725; as a kind of chewy candy, by 1906.
Idioms and Phrases with chew
In addition to the idioms beginning with chew
- chew out
- chew the cud
- chew the fat
- bite off more than one can chew