verb (used with object), hewed, hewed or hewn, hew·ing.
verb (used without object), hewed, hewed or hewn, hew·ing.
Origin of hew
Synonyms for hew
Examples from the Web for hewer
Historical Examples of hewer
Being but a hewer of wood and drawer of water, she is rheumatic.Barnaby Rudge
He was not only a hewer of wood, but often a bearer of wood as well as of water.Little Tora, The Swedish Schoolmistress and Other Stories
Mrs. Woods Baker
Would you advise me, then, to be a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, in preference?Ernest Linwood
Caroline Lee Hentz
The negro has been made the hewer of wood and the drawer of water for nearly all other nations.Clotelle
William Wells Brown
He'll be our hewer of wood and drawer of water, to say nothing of washing the dishes.Jim Spurling, Fisherman
Albert Walter Tolman
verb hews, hewing, hewed, hewed or hewn (hjuːn)
Word Origin for hew
abbreviation for (in the US)
"cutter" (of stone or wood), mid-12c. as a surname, agent noun from hew (v.). Hwers of wood and drawers of water as the lowliest sort of physical laborers is from Joshua ix:12.
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.