ˈdü-ē How to pronounce dewy (audio)
 also  ˈdyü-
dewier; dewiest
: moist with, affected by, or suggestive of dew
dewy grass
A fresh, faintly dewy complexion radiates health and beauty.Essence
: innocent, unsophisticated
from a dewy bride to an ill-mannered, murderous courtesanMelvin Gussow
ˈdü-ə-lē How to pronounce dewy (audio)
ˈdü-ē-nəs How to pronounce dewy (audio)

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"And her faire deawy eies with kisses deare Shee ofte did bathe" (Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene). "I would these dewy teares were from the ground" (William Shakespeare, Richard III). "Till dewie sleep Oppress'd them" (John Milton, Paradise Lost). "Strengthen me, enlighten me … Thou dewy dawn of memory" (Alfred Tennyson, "Ode to Memory"). Such lines exemplify how the greats have poetically extended the characteristics of dewy grass to misty or crying eyes, as well as to things, like sleep, that affect people gently like forming dew, or to things, like memory, that gradually vanish like a morning's dew. In recent times, the adjective has often been used to describe the luminous complexions of models and starlets—an extension of the "suggestive of dew" meaning. It was not until the 20th century that people began to connect newly formed, undisturbed dew with freshness or purity and, in turn, with innocence and unsophistication.

Examples of dewy in a Sentence

another version of the story of the dewy small-town youths hoping to make it in the big city
Recent Examples on the Web Videos Community Events Benefits Sign In Vogue Club January 15, 2024 In our latest episode of Career Secrets, skincare maestra Dr. Barbara Sturm shares the secrets to her success—and divulges exclusive tips and routines for radiant, dewy skin. Condé Nast, Vogue, 15 Jan. 2024 Shiny pop stars on promotional posters displayed various jars and bottles while smirking down at the customers, all of whom had comparably clear, plump, dewy skin. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, 12 Oct. 2023 The formula offers buildable coverage that blends like a dream, and finishes a natural, dewy semi-matte. Carrie Honaker, Southern Living, 11 Sep. 2023 Treat your skin to a blend of brightening vitamin C and moisturizing vitamin E for a radiant, dewy complexion. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 27 June 2023 For the former, Ffrench, who is Burberry's global beauty director, used just enough foundation to cover spots or darkness, then swirled on contour and highlighting powders for a sculpted glow, while for the latter, dewy complexions were enhanced with gloss blended on the high planes of the face. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 23 Sep. 2020 The glow is dewy and perfect. Sam Peters, ELLE, 28 Feb. 2023 The result is a dewy kiss of color that’s comfortable as can be. Rebecca Norris, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2023 So, that may have something to do with her super-dewy skin. Jacqueline Tempera, Women's Health, 7 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dewy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of dewy was before the 12th century


Dictionary Entries Near dewy

Cite this Entry

“Dewy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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