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Webster 1913 Edition


Hew

Hew

(hū)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp.
Hewed
(hūd)
;
p. p.
Hewed
or
Hewn
(hūn)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Hewing
.]
[AS.
heáwan
; akin to D.
houwen
, OHG.
houwan
, G.
hauen
, Icel.
höggva
, Sw.
hugga
, Dan.
hugge
, Lith.
kova
battle, Russ.
kovate
to hammer, forge. Cf.
Hay
cut grass,
Hoe
.]
1.
To cut with an ax; to fell with a sharp instrument; – often with down, or off.
Shak.
2.
To form or shape with a sharp instrument; to cut; hence, to form laboriously; – often with out;
as, to
hew
out a sepulcher
.
Look unto the rock whence ye are
hewn
.
Is. li. 1.
Rather polishing old works than
hewing
out new.
Pope.
3.
To cut in pieces; to chop; to hack.
Hew
them to pieces; hack their bones asunder.
Shakespeare

Hew

,
Noun.
Destruction by cutting down.
[Obs.]
Of whom he makes such havoc and such
hew
.
Spenser.

Hew

,
Noun.
1.
Hue; color.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
2.
Shape; form.
[Obs.]
Spenser.

Webster 1828 Edition


Hew

HEW

,
Verb.
T.
pret. hewed; pp. hewed or hewn.
1.
To cut with an ax, or other like instrument, for the purpose of making an even surface or side; as, to hew timber.
2.
To chop; to cut; to hack; as, to hew in pieces.
3.
To cut with a chisel; to make smooth; as, to hew stone.
4. To form or shape with an edged instrument; with out; as, to hew out a sepulcher. Is.22.
5.
To form laboriously.
I now pass my days,not studious nor idle, rather polishing old works than hewing out new ones. [Unusual.]
To hew down, to cut down; to fell by cutting.
To hew off, to cut off; to separate by a cutting instrument.

Definition 2021


Hew

Hew

See also: hew

English

Proper noun

Hew

  1. A patronymic surname.

hew

hew

See also: Hew

English

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /hjuː/
  • Rhymes: -uː
  • Homophone: hue

Verb

hew (third-person singular simple present hews, present participle hewing, simple past hewed or (rare) hew, past participle hewed or hewn)

  1. (transitive) To chop away at; to whittle down; to mow down.
    • Shakespeare
      Hew them to pieces; hack their bones asunder.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 6
      Among other things he found a sharp hunting knife, on the keen blade of which he immediately proceeded to cut his finger. Undaunted he continued his experiments, finding that he could hack and hew splinters of wood from the table and chairs with this new toy.
  2. (transitive) To shape; to form.
    One of the most widely used typefaces in the world was hewn by the English printer and typographer John Baskerville.
    to hew out a sepulchre
    • Bible, Is. li. 1
      Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.
    • Alexander Pope
      rather polishing old works than hewing out new
  3. (transitive, US) To act according to, to conform to; usually construed with to.
    • 1905, Albert Osborn, John Fletcher Hurst: A Biography, Jennings & Graham, page 428,
      Few men measured up to his standard of righteousness; he hewed to the line.
    • 1998, Frank M. Robinson and Lawrence Davidson, Pulp Culture: The Art of Fiction Magazines, Collectors Press, Inc., ISBN 1-888054-12-3, page 103,
      Inside the stories usually hewed to a consistent formula: no matter how outlandish and weird the circumstances, in the end everything had to have a natural, if not plausible, ending—frequently, though not always, involving a mad scientist.
    • 2008, Chester E. Finn, Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform Since Sputnik, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-12990-8, page 28,
      Faculty members and students alike were buzzing with the fashionable nostrums that dominated U.S. education discourse in the late sixties, [] These hewed to the recommendations of the Plowden Report, []
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid on the Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club:
      Hewing to the old comedy convention of beginning a speech by randomly referencing something in eyesight, Homer begins his talk about the birds and the bees by saying that women are like refrigerators: they’re all about six feet tall and weigh three hundred pounds and make ice cubes.
    • 2013 October 2, Pappademas, Alex, “Leuqes! LEUQES! LEUQES! – The Shining sequel and what it says about Stephen King”, in Grantland.com, retrieved 2013-10-16:
      King recovered the rights on the condition that he'd stop publicly disparaging Kubrick's version. "For a long time I hewed that line," he told CBS News in June. "And then Mr. Kubrick died. So now I figured, what the ****. I've gone back to saying mean things about it."
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

Noun

hew (plural hews)

  1. (obsolete) hue; colour
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  2. (obsolete) shape; form
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  3. Destruction by cutting down.
    • Spenser
      Of whom he makes such havoc and such hew.