Definitions and meaning of hew
From Middle English hewen, from Old English hēawan, from Proto-West Germanic *hauwan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwaną, from Proto-Indo-European *kewh₂- (“to strike, hew, forge”).
- IPA(key): /hjuː/, [çjuː]
- Rhymes: -uː
- Homophone: hue
hew (third-person singular simple present hews, present participle hewing, simple past hewed or (rare) hew, past participle hewed or hewn)
- (transitive, intransitive) To chop away at; to whittle down; to mow down.
- c. 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1, Act IV Scene vii:
- 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.
- (transitive) To shape; to form.
- to hew out a sepulchre
- Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.
- December 19, 1734, Alexander Pope, letter to Jonathan Swift
- rather polishing old works than hewing out new
- (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, 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, 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, […]
- 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 hell. I've gone back to saying mean things about it."
hew (countable and uncountable, plural hews)
- (obsolete) hue; colour
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
- (obsolete) shape; form
- Whose semblance she did carrie under feigned hew.
- (obsolete) Destruction by cutting down.
- to cut with an ax.
(source: Collins Scrabble Dictionary)