- felled and roughly shaped by hewing: hewn logs.
- given a rough surface: hewn stone.
Origin of hewn
- to strike forcibly with an ax, sword, or other cutting instrument; chop; hack.
- to make, shape, smooth, etc., with cutting blows: to hew a passage through the crowd; to hew a statue from marble.
- 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.
- to cut down; fell: to hew wood; trees hewed down by the storm.
- to strike with cutting blows; cut: He hewed more vigorously each time.
- to uphold, follow closely, or conform (usually followed by to): to hew to the tenets of one's political party.
Origin of hew
SynonymsSee more synonyms for hew on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hewn
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down.Keep Christmas Commercialized!
P. J. O’Rourke
December 6, 2014
The frame is of hewn timber, generally nine by fourteen inches.
The furniture consisted of roughly hewn benches and a table.Old Rail Fence Corners
The inclosure was protected by a rough fence, hewn out of logs.The Kentucky Ranger
Edward T. Curnick
As for the maiden, they built her tomb of hewn stone in the place where she was slain.Stories From Livy
The buildings are of hewn stone, and of the most substantial description.Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877
- to strike (something, esp wood) with cutting blows, as with an axe
- (tr often foll by out) to shape or carve from a substance
- (tr; often foll by away, down, from, off, etc) to sever from a larger or another portion
- (intr often foll by to) US and Canadian to conform (to a code, principle, etc)
- Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
Word Origin and History for hewn
strong past participle of hew.
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.