hew

[hyoo or, often, yoo]
See more 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

before 900; Middle English hewen, Old English hēawan; cognate with German hauen, Old Norse hǫggva; akin to haggle
Related formshew·a·ble, adjectivehew·er, nounun·hew·a·ble, adjectiveun·hewed, adjective
Can be confusedhew hue Hugh

Synonyms for hew

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2. form.

Synonym study

1. See cut.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hewed

cleave, fashion, prune, chip, stroke, chop, strike, shape, fell, hack, carve, hold, axe

Examples from the Web for hewed

Contemporary Examples of hewed

Historical Examples of hewed

  • But all that they hacked and hewed, picked and hollowed, was labor lost.

  • Our table was made of puncheons split with a wedge and hewed with a broadax.

  • Our floor was of maple split with wedges and hewed out with a broadax.

  • It was Hagen drew his sword and took the proud Brynild and hewed her asunder.

  • He thought he could locate the place where Samuel took Agag and hewed him to pieces.


British Dictionary definitions for hewed

hew

verb hews, 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
  3. (tr; often foll by away, down, from, off, etc) to sever from a larger or another portion
  4. (intr often foll by to) US and Canadian to conform (to a code, principle, etc)
Derived Formshewer, noun

Word Origin for hew

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

HEW

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

Word Origin and History for hewed

hew

v.

Old English heawan "to chop, hack, gash" (class VII strong verb; past tense heow, past participle heawen), earlier geheawan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwan (cf. Old Norse hoggva, Old Frisian hawa, Old Saxon hauwan, Middle Dutch hauwen, Dutch houwen, Old High German houwan, German hauen "to cut, strike, hew"), from PIE root *kau- "to hew, strike" (cf. Old Church Slavonic kovo, Lithuanian kauju "to beat, forge;" Latin cudere "to strike, beat;" Middle Irish cuad "beat, fight").

Weak past participle hewede appeared 14c., but hasn't displaced hewn. Seemingly contradictory sense of "hold fast, stick to" (in phrase hew to) developed from hew to the line "stick to a course," literally "cut evenly with an axe or saw," first recorded 1891. Related: Hewed; hewing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper