- to cook (food) by simmering or slow boiling.
- to undergo cooking by simmering or slow boiling.
- Informal. to fret, worry, or fuss: He stewed about his chaotic state of affairs all day.
- to feel uncomfortable due to a hot, humid, stuffy atmosphere, as in a closed room; swelter.
- a preparation of meat, fish, or other food cooked by stewing, especially a mixture of meat and vegetables.
- Informal. a state of agitation, uneasiness, or worry.
- a brothel; whorehouse.
- stews, a neighborhood occupied chiefly by brothels.
- Obsolete. a vessel for boiling or stewing.
- stew in one's own juice, to suffer the consequences of one's own actions.
Origin of stew1
Synonyms for stew
- a dish of meat, fish, or other food, cooked by stewing
- (as modifier)stew pot
- informal a difficult or worrying situation or a troubled state (esp in the phrase in a stew)
- a heterogeneous mixturea stew of people of every race
- (usually plural) archaic a brothel
- obsolete a public room for hot steam baths
- to cook or cause to cook by long slow simmering
- (intr) informal to be troubled or agitated
- (intr) informal to be oppressed with heat or crowding
- to cause (tea) to become bitter or (of tea) to become bitter through infusing for too long
- stew in one's own juice to suffer unaided the consequences of one's actions
Word Origin for stew
- a fishpond or fishtank
- an artificial oyster bed
Word Origin for stew
c.1400, "to bathe in a steam bath," from Old French estuver (French étuver) "bathe, stew," of uncertain origin. Common Romanic (cf. Spanish estufar, Italian stufare), possibly from Vulgar Latin *extufare "evaporate," from ex- "out" + *tufus "vapor, steam," from Greek typhos "smoke." Cf. Old English stuf-bæþ "hot-air bath;" see stove. Meaning "to boil slowly, to cook meat by simmering it in liquid" is attested from early 15c. The meaning "to be left to the consequences of one's actions" is from 1650s, from figurative expression to stew in one's own juices. Slang stewed "drunk" first attested 1737.
c.1300, "vessel for cooking," from stew (v.). Later "heated room" (late 14c.). The noun meaning "stewed meat with vegetables" is first recorded 1756; Irish stew is attested from 1814. The obsolete slang meaning "brothel" (mid-14c., usually plural, stews) is from an earlier sense of "public bath house," carried over from Old French and reflecting the reputation of such houses.
stew in one's own juice
Suffer the consequences of one's actions, as in He's run into debt again, but this time we're leaving him to stew in his own juice. This metaphoric term alludes to cooking something in its own liquid. Versions of it, such as fry in one's own grease, date from Chaucer's time, but the present term dates from the second half of the 1800s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with stew
- stew in one's own juice
- in a stew