[kroo-uh l]
See more synonyms for crewel on

Origin of crewel

First recorded in 1485–95; earlier crule; origin uncertain
Related formscrew·el·ist, crew·el·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for crewel

Historical Examples of crewel

  • The stitches just described were largely used in crewel work.

  • In point of furnishing it had not yet reached the "God bless our Home" stage in crewel.

    On Horseback

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • As a matter of fact, the work is not tapestry at all, but crewel work.


    G. E. Mitton

  • E 'it the onoffending turf a crewel blow, and there was a narsty crack. '

  • For 'arf the rarnd it stood the crewel strane and then it didn't break.

British Dictionary definitions for crewel


  1. a loosely twisted worsted yarn, used in fancy work and embroidery
Derived Formscrewelist, nouncrewelwork, noun

Word Origin for crewel

C15: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for crewel

embroidery, 1590s, of unknown origin. Earliest usage is late 15c., as a name for a kind of thin, worsted yarn originally used in crewel work.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper