\ 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 To fully enjoy the harmonious flavors, the young men are instructed to carefully chew each mouthful for exactly one minute. Amanda Arnold, Bon Appétit, 23 June 2022 Most cat owners know catnip as a treat for their feline friends to roll in and chew, but a new study finds that the common herb has qualities that repel mosquitoes. Vanessa Etienne,, 15 June 2022 Keepers provide the orangutans with the fronds daily, and the primates like to chew the stalk or use them as cover. Gloria Rebecca Gomez, The Arizona Republic, 15 June 2022 When cats chew on catnip, the leaves vastly increase their emissions of nepetalactone alone. Sam Zlotnik, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 June 2022 The group’s latest research has shown that the way cats lick and chew the leaves causes 10 times the amount of these compounds to be released, with damaged leaves thus making the insect repellent properties more effective. Katie Hunt, CNN, 14 June 2022 Because their teeth keep growing all their lives, guinea pigs need to chew constantly to keep their teeth filed. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 6 June 2022 The process is not without its stresses, especially for first-time dog parents navigating the world of training, shots, and chew toys. Elizabeth Sheldon, Good Housekeeping, 10 June 2022 It’s so frustrating but brilliant to play with and chew on. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 9 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its migas breakfast taco, a silken combination of cheese, scrambled egg and avocado counterbalanced with strips of fried corn tortilla, is enveloped in a wrapper that adds a righteous amount of chew. Washington Post, 15 June 2022 King Kanine’s revolutionary new chew, All Natural Crunch, is a game-changing product. The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 May 2022 The rise of the dog chew market has also increased the incentive for people to try to find and sell sheds. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Apr. 2022 Shirataki will take on the flavors of the broths without losing their chew. Chihiro Tomioka, Bon Appétit, 20 May 2022 The delectable, understated but sweet pop has a satisfying chew. oregonlive, 28 Apr. 2022 Each chew felt like strumming an entirely new set of chords: velvety and heartening, heightened by its directness. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Crispy bacon lovers should opt for thinner slices, while those that want some chew are better off with thicker cuts. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2021 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 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

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 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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