- clue(def 1).
- Nautical. either lower corner of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
- a ball or skein of thread, yarn, etc.
- Usually clews. the rigging for a hammock.
- Theater. a metal device holding scenery lines controlled by one weighted line.
- Classical Mythology. the thread by which Theseus found his way out of the labyrinth.
- to coil into a ball.
- clue(def 3).
- to draw up the bottom edge of (a curtain, drop, etc.) and fold out of view; bag.
- to secure (lines) with a clew.
- 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.
- spread a large clew, Nautical.
- to carry a large amount of sail.
- to present an impressive appearance.
Origin of clew
- (adverb) nautical to furl (a square sail) by gathering its clews up to the yard by means of clew lines
- 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
- (tr) to coil or roll into a ball
Word Origin and History for clew up
"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).