[ hyoo or, often, yoo ]
See synonyms for hew on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object),hewed, hewed or hewn, hew·ing.
  1. to strike forcibly with an ax, sword, or other cutting instrument; chop; hack.

  2. to make, shape, smooth, etc., with cutting blows: to hew a passage through the crowd; to hew a statue from marble.

  1. to sever (a part) from a whole by means of cutting blows (usually followed by away, off, out, from, etc.): to hew branches from the tree.

  2. to cut down; fell: to hew wood; trees hewed down by the storm.

verb (used without object),hewed, hewed or hewn, hew·ing.
  1. to strike with cutting blows; cut: He hewed more vigorously each time.

  2. to uphold, follow closely, or conform (usually followed by to): to hew to the tenets of one's political party.

Origin of hew

First recorded before 900; Middle English hewen, Old English hēawan; cognate with German hauen, Old Norse hǫggva; akin to haggle

synonym study For hew

1. See cut.

Other words for hew

Other words from hew

  • hew·a·ble, adjective
  • hewer, noun
  • un·hew·a·ble, adjective
  • un·hewed, adjective

Words that may be confused with hew

Words Nearby hew

Other definitions for HEW (2 of 2)


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hew in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hew (1 of 2)


/ (hjuː) /

verbhews, hewing, hewed, hewed or hewn (hjuːn)
  1. to strike (something, esp wood) with cutting blows, as with an axe

  2. (tr often foll by out) to shape or carve from a substance

  1. (tr; often foll by away, down, from, off, etc) to sever from a larger or another portion

  2. (intr often foll by to) US and Canadian to conform (to a code, principle, etc)

Origin of hew

Old English hēawan; related to Old Norse heggva, Old Saxon hāwa, Old High German houwan, Latin cūdere to beat

Derived forms of hew

  • hewer, noun

British Dictionary definitions for HEW (2 of 2)


abbreviation for(in the US)
  1. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare

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