stew

1 of 3

noun (1)

ˈstü How to pronounce stew (audio)
ˈstyü
1
obsolete : a utensil used for boiling
2
: a hot bath
3
a
b
: a district of brothels
usually used in plural
4
a
: fish or meat usually with vegetables prepared by stewing
b(1)
: a heterogeneous mixture
(2)
: a state of heat and congestion
5
: a state of excitement, worry, or confusion

stew

2 of 3

verb

stewed; stewing; stews

transitive verb

: to boil slowly or with simmering heat

intransitive verb

1
: to become cooked by stewing
2
: to swelter especially from confinement in a hot or stuffy atmosphere
3
: to be in a state of suppressed agitation, worry, or resentment

stew

3 of 3

noun (2)

Examples of stew in a Sentence

Verb The meat still needs to stew. a can of stewed tomatoes She's been stewing over what he said for days.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Both partners spent many years in Europe working in restaurants and catering before moving to the U.S. The bistro serves a mix of American, Mediterranean and European dishes, including Italian pastas, Spanish paella, French beef Bourguignon and American fishermen’s stew and burgers. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Dec. 2023 From soups to stews, savory sauces, and more, the slow cooker steals the spotlight during cooler months that call for warm and welcoming meals. Samantha Hunter, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Dec. 2023 This stew comes together very quickly, and between the meat, potatoes, and vegetables, this is a really filling meal. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 1 Dec. 2023 The nonstick, nonreactive surface is perfect for slow-cooking stews, oysters, and practically anything else on the stovetop for long periods. Scott Gilbertson, WIRED, 28 Nov. 2023 Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a buffet of traditional Nigerian foods including coconut rice, rice with stew, yam porridge, abacha, moi-moi, egg rolls, meatballs, puff puff, nuts and plantain chips. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 27 Nov. 2023 Use it to put the finishing touch to meats, soups, salads, and stews. Sunset Magazine, 16 Nov. 2023 And there are all kinds of stews (smoked lamb barbacoa) that would make great centerpiece entrees outside of the structure of an asada. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 Meals here proceed from a tête de moine tart to a spicy seafood stew with fry bread, or from cantaloupe-coconut gazpacho to chicken fra diavolo to sweet-potato churros. Brett Anderson, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2023
Verb
Serve this three sisters stew recipe with a side of bread, like Frank and Whitewater’s no-fry frybread recipe. Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater, Saveur, 22 Nov. 2023 The holidays are our yearly occasion to celebrate family, passing hours telling stories by the crackling fire and stewing up Grandma's recipes in the kitchen. Zoe Denenberg, Southern Living, 14 Nov. 2023 That’s how Brown learned to prepare okra stew, shrimp and grits, stewed lima beans, and pimiento cheese—dishes that are often associated with Charleston’s distinct brand of Lowcountry cuisine but aren’t always credited to the Gullah people. Priya Krishna, Southern Living, 9 Nov. 2023 This transformation from the harsh raw onion is probably why there have always been so many recipes for baking, stewing, and roasting whole onions throughout the centuries. Mark Kurlansky, Bon Appétit, 6 Nov. 2023 His older brothers spent their days stewing over what happened at the plant. Hannah Dreier Meridith Kohut, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 It gets stewed in curries and deep-fried as pakora. Julie Giuffrida, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2023 The ingredients get wonderfully stewed together and taste amazing when served over rice. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 15 Oct. 2023 But during that time, Trump, still stewing, told at least two people the real problem was that Gaetz had not formally nominated him for speaker. Jonathan Karl, ABC News, 6 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English stewe heated room for a steam bath, from Anglo-French estuve, from Vulgar Latin *extufa — more at stove

Noun (2)

short for stewardess

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stew was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near stew

Cite this Entry

“Stew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stew. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

stew

1 of 2 noun
1
: food (as meat with vegetables) prepared by slow boiling
2
: a state of excitement, worry, or confusion
in a stew over nothing

stew

2 of 2 verb
1
: to boil slowly : simmer
2
: to become excited or worried : fret

More from Merriam-Webster on stew

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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