Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

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.
Show More
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.
Show More

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

See more synonyms for hew on Thesaurus.com
2. form.

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for hews

Historical Examples

  • She swims to a stake, to which she clings, and John hews her in three, QQ.

    The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Volume I of 5)

    Various

  • It was at least something to have discovered that Will Hews was an Elizabethan name.

  • Indeed the name Hews seemed to have been closely connected with music and the stage.

  • Who is it hews his foe to mammocks; writes “Acquittal” on his tomb—and dies?

  • Some he hews out at the base and flings behind him on the field.


British Dictionary definitions for hews

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)
Show More
Derived Formshewer, noun

Word Origin

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
Show More
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 hews

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper