verb (used with object), strewed, strewn [stroon] /strun/ or strewed, strew·ing.

to let fall in separate pieces or particles over a surface; scatter or sprinkle: to strew seed in a garden bed.
to cover or overspread (a surface, place, etc.) with something scattered or sprinkled: to strew a floor with sawdust.
to be scattered or sprinkled over (a surface): Sawdust strewed the floor.
to spread widely; disseminate: to strew rumors among the troops.

Origin of strew

before 1000; Middle English strewen, Old English strewian; cognate with German streuen, Old Norse strā, Gothic straujan; akin to Latin sternere to spread (see stratum)
Related formsstrew·er, nounun·der·strew, verb (used with object), un·der·strewed, un·der·strewn or un·der·strewed, un·der·strew·ing.un·strewed, adjectiveun·strewn, adjective

Synonyms for strew

Antonyms for strew Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for strewn

sprinkle, scatter, toss, cover

Examples from the Web for strewn

Contemporary Examples of strewn

Historical Examples of strewn

  • It was strewn with pink buds; some just opening into beauty, some half-blown.

  • At the impetuous outflinging of her hands, the floor was strewn with pink petals.

  • The hallways were strewn with straw and the litter of packing.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • The steamer's deck was covered with ice, over which sand had been strewn.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • The trackside was strewn with disemboweled whitewood barrels.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for strewn


verb strews, strewing, strewed, strewn or strewed

to spread or scatter or be spread or scattered, as over a surface or area
Derived Formsstrewer, noun

Word Origin for strew

Old English streowian; related to Old Norse strā, Old High German streuwen, Latin struere to spread
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 strewn



Old English streowian, from Proto-Germanic *straujanan (cf. Old Saxon stroian, Old Norse stra, Danish strø, Swedish strö, Middle Dutch strowen, Dutch strooien, Old High German strouwen, German streuen, Gothic straujan "to sprinkle, strew"), from PIE root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper