\ ˈdü How to pronounce dew (audio) also ˈdyü\

Definition of dew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 meteorology : moisture condensed upon the surfaces of cool bodies especially at night wet with morning dew
2 : something resembling dew in purity, freshness, or power to refresh … the golden dew of sleep …— William Shakespeare
3 : moisture especially when appearing in minute droplets: such as
a : tears
b : sweat
c botany : droplets of water produced by a plant in transpiration

Definition of DEW (Entry 2 of 2)

distant early warning

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Other Words from dew


dew transitive verb
dewless \ ˈdü-​ləs How to pronounce dewless (audio) also  ˈdyü-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

This is a deposit of water droplets formed at night by the condensation of water vapor from the air onto the surfaces of exposed objects. Dew forms on clear nights, when exposed surfaces lose heat by radiation and are thus usually colder than the air. The cold surface cools the air in its vicinity, and, if the air is humid enough, it may cool below its dew point, the temperature at which water vapor condenses out of the air onto the surface.

Examples of dew in a Sentence


The grass was wet with the morning dew.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The window seat stayed unoccupied for a while, and her hopes rose when a man with a clipboard boarded the plane, his hair gauzy with dew. Anne Enright, The New Yorker, "The Weight," 29 Aug. 2019 Dew point is the atmospheric temperature below which water droplets begin to condense and form dew. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Yeah, we know it's been cold and rainy in Wisconsin. Blame the jet stream.," 17 June 2019 And even in San Mateo County, which has less than half of Santa Clara County’s population, the county fair dew 127,000 people over nine days last year. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Yes, folks, there really is a fair in Santa Clara County," 28 July 2019 The grass, razor sharp and always drenched by rain or dew, shoots up to 12 feet or more all over the reserve, and traveling along the overgrown tracks is no joke. National Geographic, "Jane Goodall’s original tale of chimpanzees still astonishes today," 17 Apr. 2019 Wheat plants' leaves repel water, which creates the perfect conditions for dew droplets to catapult off the leaves—taking pathogenic spores for the ride. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Wheat Plants "Sneeze" And Spread Disease," 25 June 2019 Barring eliminating the treads altogether—which might mean spinning out on a misting of morning dew—the best move is to make sure the treads don’t trap air. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Bridgestone's New Tire Makes Driving Electric as Quiet as It Should Be," 5 June 2019 Some say that El-ahrairah, the rabbits’ trickster folk hero, controls the weather, because the wind, the damp and the dew are friends and instruments to rabbits against their enemies. Peter Rock, New York Times, "On the Unsettling Allure of ‘Watership Down’," 15 May 2018 The Woolfs loved the property for its lush, informal grounds, including an Italian garden, a dew pond, a terrace and an orchard. WSJ, "How Virginia Woolf Decorated Her Room of One's Own," 5 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dew.' 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 dew


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

History and Etymology for dew


Middle English, from Old English dēaw; akin to Old High German tou dew, Greek thein to run

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Dictionary Entries near dew

De Vries







Statistics for dew

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dew

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

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More Definitions for dew



English Language Learners Definition of dew

: drops of water that form outside at night on grass, trees, etc.


\ ˈdü How to pronounce dew (audio) , ˈdyü\

Kids Definition of dew

: moisture that collects on cool surfaces at night

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More from Merriam-Webster on dew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dew

Spanish Central: Translation of dew

Nglish: Translation of dew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dew for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dew

Comments on dew

What made you want to look up dew? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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