\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Marvel and director Sam Raimi take full advantage of this throughout, giving comic book fans plenty to chew on. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 3 May 2022 The Creative Arts categories will have plenty to chew on from the series in categories like production design, cinematography and visual effects. Clayton Davis, Variety, 14 Apr. 2022 DreamBones, a healthy alternative to rawhide, is great for dogs who love to chew, and a bag of 24 treats is 52 percent off. Carly Kulzer,, 7 May 2022 Dogs don’t grind their teeth to chew, so the small amount of cyanide in the pits and seeds isn’t much of a worry in terms of poisoning, Wismer said. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Some of the women spin cotton; the spiritual leaders, mostly men, sit under starry skies to chew coca leaves in silent communion. Carolina Schneider Comandulli, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2022 That could open room for a pitcher with Harvey’s experience — and his ability to chew innings. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 7 Apr. 2022 Chlöe is giving her fans (and haters) a little something extra to chew on today with her latest post on social media. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 11 Nov. 2021 Mice like to chew on trees if there is coverage for them. oregonlive, 4 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These chews offer relaxation and feature a blend of agave, lemon and melatonin, known for its lulling and peaceful effects, with 4.5mg of THC per chew. Amber Love Bond, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Jensen is a big fan of sourdough, especially loaves made with some whole wheat, so that the bran rehydrates and soaks up more of the oil for optimal flavor and a slight chew. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 People have been lining up for fresh mochi doughnuts, which get their signature chew from rice flour, in flavors like hojicha and mango. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Apr. 2022 At their base, these pastries were perfectly tender with a moist chew and an ideal blend of aromatic spices. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 2 Mar. 2022 The confluence of the dog-chew phenomenon and social media has created a uniquely American boom. The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 That dough is then piled with cheese and other toppings, but not sauce, and baked to a fluffy chew with oodles of crisp edges. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Jan. 2022 Crisp, yet with a chew almost like mochi, the pie is perfected with bits of the northeast region’s signature salty pickled vegetable punctuating the juicy stuffing. Nick Kindelsperger,, 9 Feb. 2022 Halawy dates have a delicate sweetness and a slightly chewy texture, almost like a caramel chew candy. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chew


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on chew

Nglish: Translation of chew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chew for Arabic Speakers


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