Usually thews. muscle or sinew.
thews, physical strength.

Origin of thew

before 900; Middle English; Old English thēaw custom, usage; cognate with Old High German thau (later dau) discipline; akin to Latin tuērī to watch
Related formsthew·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thews

Historical Examples of thews

  • Hath he no the smooth face o' a bairn and the thews' o' Behemoth?'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • When your thews are grown it will not be on thuribles they'll spend their strength, or I'm a liar else.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • None could find fault with their thews and sinews, and as for their spirit, it is for us to see it does not fail.



  • The expression upon his face showed that his will was as strong as his thews and sinews.

    The Champdoce Mystery

    Emile Gaboriau

  • And the King thought he had mightily grown in stature and thews.

British Dictionary definitions for thews



muscle, esp if strong or well-developed
(plural) muscular strength
Derived Formsthewy, adjectivethewless, adjective

Word Origin for thew

Old English thēaw; related to Old Saxon, Old High German thau discipline, Latin tuērī to observe, tūtus secure
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 thews

Old English þeawes "customs, manners, personal qualities," plural of þeaw "habit, custom," from Proto-Germanic *thawaz (cf. Old Saxon thau "usage, custom, habit," Old High German thau "discipline"); no certain cognates outside West Germanic and of unknown origin. Meaning "bodily powers or parts indicating strength, good physique" is attested from 1560s, from notion of "good qualities." Acquired a sense of "muscular development" when it was revived by Scott (1818).



Old English þeaw; see thews.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper