[ pee-wee ]

  1. any of several New World flycatchers of the genus Contopus.: Compare wood pewee.

  2. the phoebe.

Origin of pewee

An Americanism dating back to 1790–1800; imitative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pewee in a sentence

  • The wood pewees show that devotion to each other and to their home, characteristic of their family.

    Bird Neighbors | Neltje Blanchan
  • Once the children of a man employed about the place oologized the nest, and the pewees left us for a year or two.

    My Garden Acquaintance | James Russell Lowell
  • He was delighted with the mill attached to the property, and with the pewees who built their nests near by.

    Famous Men of Science | Sarah K. Bolton
  • One day a family of wood pewees visited the dooryard of my tent.

    Our Bird Comrades | Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser
  • Birds were busy; wood-thrushes and pewees were calling; now and then a golden-throated warbler sounded his clear note.

    A Little Maid of Ticonderoga | Alice Turner Curtis

British Dictionary definitions for pewee



/ (ˈpiːwiː) /

  1. any of several small North American flycatchers of the genus Contopus, having a greenish-brown plumage

Origin of pewee

C19: imitative of its cry

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