\ ˈpyü How to pronounce pew (audio) \

Definition of pew

1 : a compartment in the auditorium of a church providing seats for several persons
2 : one of the benches with backs and sometimes doors fixed in rows in a church

Examples of pew in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Clairemont Lutheran Church in San Diego has been trying for years to build housing on its parking lot but has run into roadblocks, including a rule that dictates how much parking space a church must have per pew. Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, "Bay Area churches are building housing in God’s backyard," 16 June 2019 They all but filled the pews of spacious St. John Vianney Catholic Church in the Los Angeles suburb of Hacienda Heights, just a couple of miles (3.2 kilometers) from where a park worker had found Trinity’s body on March 5. John Rogers, The Seattle Times, "Hundreds mourn girl whose body was dumped on hiking trail," 26 Mar. 2019 Retiree John Schultz leaned forward, his head resting on the pew in front of him, to soak in the Bach while musician Lura Johnson played. Christina Tkacik,, "Piano 'marathon' highlights classical music's enduring appeal," 7 May 2018 Church lore maintained that a pew marked with a bronze plaque honoring Davis dated to the start of the Civil War, the pastor wrote. Jay Reeves, The Seattle Times, "Alabama church removes pew honoring Confederate president," 10 Feb. 2019 When Alfredo, a carpenter, accuses Achille of sabotaging his work, Achille and his cronies pluck the man from his pew during a funeral mass. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 On Sunday, Alfreda Brown, a retired nurse whose daughter recently worked as a third-grade teacher in the state, sat in the pews at New Light Beulah Baptist Church about 20 minutes outside Columbia. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Bernie Sanders’s Presidential Do-Over Hinges on Better Results in the South," 21 Jan. 2019 Maybe if more leave, and those pews (and coffers) are finally empty, then the Church will do a more sincere self-examination. Mary Beth Keane, Vogue, "Amid Scandal After Scandal, One Catholic Mother Faces A Painful Choice," 6 Dec. 2018 The living room, once the main chapel, has a 50-foot tall ceiling, while the old church pews have been used to build the kitchen cabinetry. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "Young Families Embrace Living in ‘Wuthering Heights Country’," 9 Aug. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pew

Middle English pewe, from Middle French dialect (Picardy) puie balustrade, from Latin podia, plural of podium parapet, podium, from Greek podion base, diminutive of pod-, pous foot — more at foot

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Dictionary Entries near pew






pew chair


Statistics for pew

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for pew

The first known use of pew was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of pew

: one of the benches that are placed in rows in a church


\ ˈpyü How to pronounce pew (audio) \

Kids Definition of pew

: one of the benches with backs and sometimes doors set in rows in a church

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More from Merriam-Webster on pew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pew

Spanish Central: Translation of pew

Nglish: Translation of pew for Spanish Speakers

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

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a small bunch of flowers

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