mew

1
[myoo]
|

noun

the tiny, high-pitched sound a cat or kitten makes.
the characteristic sound a gull makes.

verb (used without object)

to make a mew or emit a similar sound.

Origin of mew

1
1275–1325; Middle English meuen; imitative
Can be confusedmews muse

mew

3
[myoo]

noun

a cage for hawks, especially while molting.
a pen in which poultry is fattened.
a place of retirement or concealment.
mews, (usually used with a singular verb) Chiefly British.
  1. (formerly) an area of stables built around a small street.
  2. a street having small apartments converted from such stables.

verb (used with object)

Archaic. to shut up in or as in a mew; confine; conceal (often followed by up).

Origin of mew

3
1325–75; Middle English mue < Middle French, akin to muer to molt. See mew4

mew

4
[myoo]

verb (used with or without object)

to shed (feathers); to molt.

Origin of mew

4
1325–75; Middle English mewen < Old French muer to molt < Latin mūtāre to change
Related formsmew·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for mewing

Historical Examples of mewing

  • There seems to be a playful allusion in these words to mewian and cath, the mewing of a cat.

    Y Gododin

    Aneurin

  • Mewing is for the most part only shouting without saying any words.

    The Five Jars

    Montague Rhodes James

  • I know all the tabbies in the town have been mewing about us.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke

  • There was no sound but the purr of machinery and the mewing of gulls in the distance.

    Mistress Anne

    Temple Bailey

  • She was seen going about mewing disconsolately for her young ones.


British Dictionary definitions for mewing

mew

1

verb

(intr) (esp of a cat) to make a characteristic high-pitched cry

noun

such a sound

Word Origin for mew

C14: imitative

mew

2

noun

any seagull, esp the common gull, Larus canusAlso called: mew gull, sea mew

Word Origin for mew

Old English mǣw; compare Old Saxon mēu, Middle Dutch mēwe

mew

3

noun

a room or cage for hawks, esp while moulting

verb

(tr often foll by up) to confine (hawks or falcons) in a shelter, cage, etc, usually by tethering them to a perch
to confine, conceal

Word Origin for mew

C14: from Old French mue, from muer to moult, from Latin mūtāre to change

mew

4

verb

(intr) (of hawks or falcons) to moult
(tr) obsolete to shed (one's covering, clothes, etc)

Word Origin for mew

C14: from Old French muer to moult, from Latin mūtāre to change
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 mewing

mew

v.

"make a sound like a cat," early 14c., mewen, of imitative origin (cf. German miauen, French miauler, Italian miagolare, Spanish maullar, and see meow). Related: Mewed; mewing. As a noun from 1590s.

mew

n.1

"seagull," Old English mæw, from Proto-Germanic *maigwis (cf. Old Saxon mew, Frisian meau, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German mewe, Dutch meeuw "gull"), imitative of its cry. Old French moue (Modern French mouette) and Lithuanian mevas are Germanic loan-words.

mew

n.2

"cage," c.1300, from Old French mue "cage for hawks, especially when molting," from muer "to molt," from Latin mutare "to change" (see mutable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper