\ ˈpyü \

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

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 According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, Ferguson will sit beside her ex-husband in the front pew of St. George's Chapel. Eileen Reslen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Ferguson Will Be Front and Center at Daughter Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding," 26 July 2018 Suddenly, Toller, whose congregation could fill a single pew, has found purpose and fury. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "Paul Schrader wrestles with the sacred and profane in his new 'First Reformed'," 16 May 2018 There were packed pews at a suburban Dallas church for the funeral for Botham Jean. Fox News, "The Latest: Man killed by officer remembered at funeral," 13 Sep. 2018 For more than a century, the converted tabernacle has been filling its pews and placing on the pulpit the biggest names in music—from Chris Stapleton to Foo Fighters. Kristin Luna, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Best Live Music Venues in Nashville," 27 Feb. 2018 The result is his new series of striking vertical panoramas — from the back pew to the altar and everything in between. Lauren Piro, House Beautiful, "These Panoramas of Church Ceilings Are Truly Jaw-Dropping," 28 Sep. 2015 Sitting in the pews were 850 guests: family, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as friends such as Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Princess Eugenie Wears Peter Pilotto to Wed Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle," 12 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pew

Dictionary Entries near pew






pew chair


Statistics for pew

Last Updated

31 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pew

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pew



English Language Learners Definition of pew

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


\ ˈpyü \

Kids Definition of pew

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on pew

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


very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!