\ 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 upchewing 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 chewable (audio) \ adjective
chewer noun
chewy \ ˈchü-​ē How to pronounce chewy (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 Given a chance to ice the game, Green Bay took advantage, chewing up the final 2 minutes 22 seconds of the game and beating the Seattle Seahawks, 28-23. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "Packers advance to the N.F.C. championship game.," 12 Jan. 2020 Air Force’s option offense, which chewed up an awful WSU defense, was designed to control the clock and time of possession. oregonlive, "There isn’t much big-game buzz for this Oregon-Wisconsin Rose Bowl: Issues & Answers," 28 Dec. 2019 There were also several filmmakers who hit us with more than one great film to chew up (looking at you, Barry Jenkins). Candice Frederick, Essence, "The 20 Best Black Films Of The Last Decade," 27 Dec. 2019 When the food arrived, Eli took a bite, chewed and swallowed. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "For one non-binary teen, coming of age means getting their parents to embrace a new name," 20 Dec. 2019 Their revulsion is the result of a psychiatric condition called misophonia, in which things like chewing and lip smacking incite a fight-or-flight response. Popular Science, "Unlocking the mysterious ecstasy of ASMR—and its agonizing cousin," 18 Dec. 2019 Yawning, chewing and laughing still cause pain in her jaw despite surgery, two other medical procedures, a mouthpiece and physical therapy. Craig Harris, azcentral, "OSHA finds 'unsafe' work conditions at Prescott VA hospital after patient attacks nurse," 6 Dec. 2019 Williams rushed for 44 yards on the drive, helping Wagner overcome five penalties and make two third-down conversions while chewing up more than seven minutes. Terrence Thomas,, "QB Isaiah Williams’ development helps Thunderbirds soar again," 5 Dec. 2019 Dalton scrambling for a first down on 3rd and 1 to keep the following drive going and chew up more clock was a savvy-veteran move. Dave Clark,, "Guest TML: Don't underestimate Bengals' love for Andy Dalton," 2 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Liu cuts Western architecture down to size, and then treats it as a chew toy for playful aesthetic contemplation. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Liu Wei uses dog chews to create anti-’Hall of Architecture’ at Cleveland Museum of Art," 5 Jan. 2020 Dogs enjoyed SmartSticks peanut butter chews, and cats were particularly into Temptations Classic cat treats this holiday season. David Goldman, CNN, "Amazon has its best holiday season ever," 26 Dec. 2019 Each element, once uncovered, seemed like a treasure: buttery linzer cookies with jam, flaky rugelach, biscotti, sesame date chews. Soleil Ho,, "Dear Inga will take you home," 19 Dec. 2019 BarkBox is a subscription service that sends a box of chew toys every month to your furry family member. Trevor Fraser,, "Get free dog toys with a new BarkBox subscription," 10 Dec. 2019 BarkBox comes with two toys, two bags of all-natural bags and a chew. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "The best gift subscription boxes for clothes, books, drinks and more," 9 Dec. 2019 Residents are asked to bring chew toys, blankets and towels, as well as dry food and wet food for cats and dogs. Kathleen Mcwilliams,, "Everything you need to know before heading to Middletown’s annual Holiday on Main Street this weekend," 28 Nov. 2019 The snack bag is a surprise mixed package that may include bulk treats, packaged treats, chews, and depending on your package size, a toy. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "ICYMI: Have yourself a Katy little Christmas: a guide to Katy gift giving," 27 Nov. 2019 These sessions were made all the more intriguing by the sheer diversity of candies doled out back then: dozens of different candy bars, hard candies, cream chews, taffies, toffees, jelly beans., "I should start by disclosing that Halloween is my favorite holiday on earth. I love the blatantly transactional nature of it, the fact that it jettisons religious tradition in favor of uncut sugar lust.," 12 Oct. 2019

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

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for chew


How to pronounce chew (audio)

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

Spanish Central: Translation of chew

Nglish: Translation of chew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chew for Arabic Speakers

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