[ choo ]
See synonyms for: chewchewedchewing on

verb (used with object)
  1. to crush or grind with the teeth; masticate.

  2. to crush, damage, injure, etc., as if by chewing (often followed by up): The faulty paper feeder chewed the letters up.

  1. to make by or as if by chewing: The puppy chewed a hole in my slipper.

  2. to meditate on; consider deliberately (often followed by over): He chewed the problem over in his mind.

verb (used without object)
  1. to perform the act of crushing or grinding with the teeth.

  2. Informal. to chew tobacco.

  1. to meditate.

  1. an act or instance of chewing.

  2. something chewed or intended for chewing: a chew of tobacco; taffy chews.

Verb Phrases
  1. chew out, Slang. to scold harshly: The sergeant chewed out the recruits.

Idioms about chew

  1. 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

before 1000; Middle English chewen,Old English cēowan; cognate with Old High German kiuwan (German kauen)

Other words from chew

  • chewer, noun
  • un·chewed, adjective
  • well-chewed, adjective

Words that may be confused with chew

Words Nearby chew Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chew in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chew


/ (tʃuː) /

  1. to work the jaws and teeth in order to grind (food); masticate

  2. to bite repeatedly: she chewed her nails anxiously

  1. (intr) to use chewing tobacco

  2. chew the fat or chew the rag slang

    • to argue over a point

    • to talk idly; gossip

  1. the act of chewing

  2. something that is chewed: a chew of tobacco

Origin of chew

Old English ceowan; related to Old High German kiuwan, Dutch kauwen, Latin gingīva a gum

Derived forms of chew

  • chewable, adjective
  • chewer, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with chew


In addition to the idioms beginning with chew

  • chew out
  • chew the cud
  • chew the fat

also see:

  • bite off more than one can chew

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.