\ ˈchü How to pronounce chew (audio) \
chewed; chewing; chews

Definition of chew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to crush, grind, or gnaw (something, such as food) with or as if with the teeth : masticate
2 : to injure, destroy, or consume as if by chewing usually used with up chewing up profits

intransitive verb

: to chew something specifically : to chew tobacco
chew on
: to think about : ponder chewing on the new developments
chew the fat or less commonly chew the rag
: to make friendly familiar conversation : chat



Definition of chew (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of chewing
2 : something for chewing

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Other Words from chew


chewable \ ˈchü-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce chew (audio) \ adjective
chewer noun
chewy \ ˈchü-​ē How to pronounce chew (audio) \ adjective

Examples of chew in a Sentence

Verb We were taught to chew our food thoroughly before swallowing. He chews with his mouth open. You're not allowed to chew gum in class. A mouse chewed through the cord. The dog chewed a hole in the rug.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb People with rumination disorder repeatedly regurgitate their food and then re-chew, re-swallow, or spit it out. Colleen Murphy,, "The Different Types of Eating Disorders—What They Are and What You Need to Know About Them," 24 Feb. 2021 Raghav still cannot hold up his head, sit, stand, talk, chew, or swallow. Sanath Kumar Ramesh, Max G. Bronstein, STAT, "Ultra-rare but not forgotten: New drug development paradigms to treat the rarest of diseases," 17 Feb. 2021 Insects that chew the terminal ends, shoots and flowers will also cause no fruit on plum trees. oregonlive, "Early rose pruning could cause dieback, result in re-prune next spring: Ask an expert," 16 Jan. 2021 The plants became tougher and harder to chew, so DNH 155 and other P. robustus wouldn't have been able to munch on them. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Newly Unearthed Skull Reveals How Ancient Hominids Evolved to Survive a Changing Climate," 13 Nov. 2020 Asparagus beetles, which chew on spears in spring and attack summer foliage, are the most prevalent problem. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The Ultimate Guide to Growing Asparagus, Whether You Start From Seed or Spear," 22 May 2020 The plot bites off more than the movie can adequately chew, at first feeling a little too much like an individual comic-book story stretched beyond its weight to meet the demands of a blockbuster movie. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Wonder Woman 1984' gets dragged down by its uninspired villains," 23 Dec. 2020 For the best tasting experience, serve cheeses at room temperature and sample each pairing in the same bite (i.e., chew your cheese and chocolate at the same time). Kristy Alpert, Better Homes & Gardens, "Chocolate and Cheese Is the Perfect Salty-Sweet Indulgence," 2 Dec. 2020 Swallowed batteries can also get stuck somewhere and cause obstruction, or stomach acid could chew through the battery, spilling its dangerous contents into the body. Sara G. Miller, NBC News, "A man swallowed a battery. Why did it look like he was having a heart attack?," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Las Conchas also had one of the West Side’s better flour tortillas ($2.39 per dozen) with a touch more salt than most and a perfect, tender chew. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Where to find the best tortillas on San Antonio's West Side: The 6 best tortillerías in that part of town," 24 Feb. 2021 In fact, Goop has already come under fire for promoting the nonexistent flu-preventing properties of elderberry chew on their website. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Gwyneth Paltrow Reveals She Has “Long-Haul” COVID. Here’s What She Wants To Sell You," 18 Feb. 2021 And with the addition of tapioca flour, this actually had a slightly pleasant chew that adds dimension to the initial crispiness of the crust. Los Angeles Times, "The official frozen pizza power rankings," 27 Jan. 2021 Egg linguine, spinach gnocchi and squash ravioli are among the offerings with that fresh pasta chew ($10 each). Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "Stock your fridge and pantry with these 12 products made by Twin Cities restaurants," 15 Jan. 2021 The bars also come in Triple Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cocoa flavors, with the coconut option standing out by way of its shredded coconut chew. Paul Stephen,, "Hungry Buddha Keto Bars satisfy help you snack healthier in this new year with plenty of nutritious punch," 5 Jan. 2021 The wrappers are delicate but sturdy, with a satisfying chew. Los Angeles Times, "Where to order takeout and delivery in Koreatown," 13 Dec. 2020 Every Barkbox comes with two toys, two bags of all-natural treats and one chew, all tailored to a monthly theme. Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "The most useful subscriptions to gift this year," 7 Dec. 2020 Out of the fog and concrete came a style of pop that blended love ballads, fantasy and anti-establishment attitude with all the smoothness of a laxative chew. Washington Post, "Almost anarchy: The Style Council and the smooth sounds of sophisti-pop," 20 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chew.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chew


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chew


Middle English, from Old English cēowan; akin to Old High German kiuwan to chew, Russian zhevat'

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Time Traveler for chew

Time Traveler

The first known use of chew was before the 12th century

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Statistics for chew

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for chew



English Language Learners Definition of chew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use your teeth to cut food into small pieces before you swallow it
: to bite on (something) repeatedly with the teeth
: to make (something, such as a hole) by chewing



English Language Learners Definition of chew (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of chewing something
: something that a person or animal chews


\ ˈchü How to pronounce chew (audio) \
chewed; chewing

Kids Definition of chew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to crush or grind with the teeth chewing food



Kids Definition of chew (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of crushing or grinding with the teeth
2 : something that a person or animal chews a dog's rawhide chew

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More from Merriam-Webster on chew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chew

Nglish: Translation of chew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chew for Arabic Speakers

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