[doo, dyoo]
See more synonyms for dew on
  1. moisture condensed from the atmosphere, especially at night, and deposited in the form of small drops upon any cool surface.
  2. something like or compared to such drops of moisture, as in purity, delicacy, or refreshing quality.
  3. moisture in small drops on a surface, as tears or perspiration.
  4. Informal.
    1. Scotch whisky.
    2. mountain dew.
verb (used with object)
  1. to wet with or as with dew.

Origin of dew

before 900; Middle English; Old English dēaw; cognate with German Tau, Old Norse dǫgg
Related formsdew·less, adjectiveun·dewed, adjective
Can be confuseddew do due


[doo, dyoo]
  1. distant early warning.
Compare DEW line. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dew


Examples from the Web for dew

Contemporary Examples of dew

Historical Examples of dew

  • It looks as if the dew was on it; but the tears will not make it grow again—will they?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Nonsense must have the dew on it, or it is good for nothing.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • She has faded away like a rainbow—like a drop of dew in the sun.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • Not only all night, but all day, has the dew lain upon its purity.

  • She was walking down a lane, her short skirts brushed by the morning dew.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for dew


    1. drops of water condensed on a cool surface, esp at night, from vapour in the air
    2. (in combination)dewdrop
  1. something like or suggestive of this, esp in freshnessthe dew of youth
  2. small drops of moisture, such as tears
  1. (tr) poetic to moisten with or as with dew

Word Origin for dew

Old English dēaw; related to Old High German tou dew, Old Norse dögg
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 dew

Old English deaw, from Proto-Germanic *dawwaz (cf. Old Saxon dau, Old Frisian daw, Middle Dutch dau, Old High German tau, German Tau, Old Norse dögg "dew"), from PIE root *dheu- (2) "to flow" (cf. Sanskrit dhavate "flows, runs").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dew in Science


  1. Water droplets condensed from the air, usually at night, onto cool surfaces near the ground. Dew forms when the temperature of the surfaces falls below the dew point of the surrounding air, usually due to radiational cooling. See also frost.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.