stew

noun (1)
\ ˈstü How to pronounce stew (audio) , ˈstyü \

Definition of stew

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 obsolete : a utensil used for boiling
2 : a hot bath
3a : brothel
b : a district of brothels usually used in plural
4a : 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

verb
stewed; stewing; stews

Definition of stew (Entry 2 of 3)

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

noun (2)

Definition of stew (Entry 3 of 3)

Synonyms for stew

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

First Known Use of stew

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

History and Etymology for stew

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

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best cast-iron skillet of 2021.

Learn More About stew

Time Traveler for stew

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near stew

stevioside

stew

steward

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stew

Cite this Entry

“Stew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stew. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for stew

stew

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stew

: to cook (something) slowly in hot liquid
: to be upset or worried

stew

noun
\ ˈstü How to pronounce stew (audio) , ˈstyü \

Kids Definition of stew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dish of usually meat with vegetables prepared by slow boiling
2 : a state of excitement, worry, or confusion He got in a stew over nothing.

stew

verb
stewed; stewing

Kids Definition of stew (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to boil slowly : simmer stew tomatoes
2 : to become excited or worried Don't stew over what they said.

More from Merriam-Webster on stew

Nglish: Translation of stew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stew for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stew

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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