clew

[ kloo ]
/ klu /

noun

verb (used with object)

Verb Phrases

clew down, Nautical. to secure (a sail) in an unfurled position.
clew up, Nautical. to haul (the lower corners of a square-rig sail) up to the yard by means of the clew lines.

Idioms

    spread a large clew, Nautical.
    1. to carry a large amount of sail.
    2. to present an impressive appearance.

Origin of clew

before 900; Middle English clewe, Old English cleowen, cliewen, equivalent to cliew- (cognate with Old High German kliu ball) + -en -en5; akin to Dutch kluwen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clew

British Dictionary definitions for clew

clew

/ (kluː) /

noun

a ball of thread, yarn, or twine
nautical either of the lower corners of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail
(usually plural) the rigging of a hammock
a rare variant of clue

verb

(tr) to coil or roll into a ball

Word Origin for clew

Old English cliewen (vb); related to Old High German kliu ball
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