[yoo; Dialect yoh]


a female sheep, especially when fully mature.

Origin of ewe

before 1000; Middle English; Old English ēowu, ēwe; cognate with Old High German ou, ouwi, Dutch ooi, Latin ovis, Greek óïs, oîs, Sanskrit ávi
Can be confusedewe yew you (see usage note at you)


[ey-vey, ey-wey]


a member of a people of Togo and Ghana, in western Africa.
the Kwa language spoken by the Ewe people.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ewe

Contemporary Examples of ewe

Historical Examples of ewe

  • But now Austin had come and swooped off with his one ewe lamb.


    William J. Locke

  • A ewe emitted her one doleful note; another gave hers, sadly.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart

  • Let a ewe from another fold come in and they will scent her quick as lightning.

    The Story of Wool

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • If you saw a ewe robbed of her lamb, would you laugh, you brute?

    Roundabout Papers

    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • As he did so, the others heard him ewe utterance to a cry of astonishment.

British Dictionary definitions for ewe



  1. a female sheep
  2. (as modifier)a ewe lamb

Word Origin for ewe

Old English ēowu; related to Old Norse ǣr ewe, Old High German ou, Latin ovis sheep, Sanskrit avi



plural Ewe or Ewes a member of a Negroid people of W Africa living chiefly in the forests of E Ghana, Togo, and Benin
the language of this people, belonging to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family
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 ewe

Old English eowu, fem. of eow "sheep," from Proto-Germanic *awi, genitive *awjoz (cf. Old Saxon ewi, Old Frisian ei, Middle Dutch ooge, Dutch ooi, Old High German ouwi "sheep," Gothic aweþi "flock of sheep"), from PIE *owi- (cf. Sanskrit avih, Greek ois, Latin ovis, Lithuanian avis "sheep," Old Church Slavonic ovica "ewe," Old Irish oi "sheep," Welsh ewig "hind").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper