verb (used with object)
- to draw up the bottom edge of (a curtain, drop, etc.) and fold out of view; bag.
- to secure (lines) with a clew.
- to carry a large amount of sail.
- to present an impressive appearance.
Origin of clew
Examples from the Web for clew
He had discovered the hidden passage and held the clew which he had so industriously sought.Edison, His Life and Inventions|Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin
The first thing we did was to clew up the three top-gallant-sails.Miles Wallingford|James Fenimore Cooper
Hoping for a clew, they examined the ground for his footprints, but could discover nothing.The Gilded Man|Clifford Smyth
She asked after him in the kitchen, and the express-messenger helped her to a clew by his account of the boy without a hat.Titan: A Romance v. 1 (of 2)|Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
I kept the clew by thrusting into the passage slender twigs; these it was easy to follow.Riverby|John Burroughs
British Dictionary definitions for clew
Word Origin for clew
Word Origin and History for clew
"ball of thread or yarn," northern English and Scottish relic of Old English cliewen "sphere, ball, skein, ball of thread or yarn," probably from West Germanic *kleuwin (cf. Old Saxon cleuwin, Dutch kluwen), from Proto-Germanic *kliwjo-, from PIE *gleu- "gather into a mass, conglomerate" (see clay).