verb \ˈhyü\

: to shape (something) by cutting with a sharp tool (such as an ax)

hewedhewed or hewn \ˈhyün\ hew·ing

Full Definition of HEW

transitive verb
:  to cut with blows of a heavy cutting instrument
:  to fell by blows of an ax <hew a tree>
:  to give form or shape to with or as if with heavy cutting blows <hewed their farms from the wilderness — J. T. Shotwell>
intransitive verb
:  to make cutting blows
:  conform, adhere <hew to tradition> —often used in the phrase hew to the line <no pressure … on newspapers to hew to the official line — New York Times Magazine>
hew·er noun

Examples of HEW

  1. They hewed logs to build a cabin.
  2. The walls are built of stones hewn by skilled craftsmen.

Origin of HEW

Middle English, from Old English hēawan; akin to Old High German houwan to hew, Lithuanian kauti to forge, Latin cudere to beat
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to HEW



Definition of HEW

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
HEWER Defined for Kids


verb \ˈhyü\
hewed or hewn \ˈhyün\hew·ing

Definition of HEW for Kids

:  to chop down <hew trees>
:  to shape by cutting with an ax <hew logs>


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