\ ˈstrü How to pronounce strew (audio) \
strewed; strewed or strewn\ ˈstrün How to pronounce strewn (audio) \; strewing

Definition of strew

transitive verb

1 : to spread by scattering
2 : to cover by or as if by scattering something strewing the highways with litter
3 : to become dispersed over as if scattered
4 : to spread abroad : disseminate

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Examples of strew in a Sentence

She strewed the birdseed on the ground. sidewalks strewed with trash left by the parade watchers
Recent Examples on the Web Though the tombs, dubbed Tholos VI and Tholos VII, were looted in antiquity, they are still strewn with thousands of pieces of gold leaf that had once adorned their walls and floors, reports Nicholas Wade for the New York Times. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Artifacts in Gold-Lined Tombs Hint at Ancient Greek Trade Relationships," 18 Dec. 2019 The shooting occurred in a crosswalk at a large intersection strewn with debris that had backed-up traffic in Sai Wan Ho, a neighborhood on the eastern part of Hong Kong Island. Alice Fung, USA TODAY, "Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire," 11 Nov. 2019 But the war for Syria is not over yet, and the path ahead is strewn with difficulties. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings," 13 Apr. 2019 Brion said debris from the helicopter was strewn for blocks throughout the development. Mike Argento, USA TODAY, "'It sounded like a bomb': Helicopter crashes into man's yard, killing pilot and passenger," 10 Jan. 2020 Its playgrounds and ball fields have replaced patches that were once strewn with crack vials. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "A Park Shed Its Reputation. Then Came the Tessa Majors Murder.," 14 Dec. 2019 The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2 also discovered its asteroid, Ryugu, to be strewn with unexpected boulders. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "NASA selects target for asteroid-sampling campaign this summer," 12 Dec. 2019 Concertgoers inside apparently were unaware of the tragedy that had unfolded just outside the main gates, where the entrance was strewn with broken glass, hats, gloves, coats and beer cans. Jeff Suess,, "The Who concert tragedy 40 years ago: Stampede kills 11 persons at Coliseum rock concert," 3 Dec. 2019 One of the images from that was of the oil tanks and another one was the white tombs in the Leeville cemetery in Louisiana that are all strewn about and piled on top of each other after Hurricane Katrina. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Paired Images of Melting Glaciers and Flooding Wetlands Tell the Story of Global Climate Change," 21 Nov. 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for strew

Middle English strewen, strowen, from Old English strewian, strēowian; akin to Old High German strewen to strew, Latin struere to heap up, sternere to spread out, Greek stornynai

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Time Traveler for strew

Time Traveler

The first known use of strew was before the 12th century

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Statistics for strew

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Strew.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for strew


How to pronounce strew (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strew

: to spread or scatter things over or on the ground or some other surface
literary : to lie on or cover (something)


\ ˈstrü How to pronounce strew (audio) \
strewed; strewed or strewn\ ˈstrün \; strewing

Kids Definition of strew

1 : scatter sense 1 … his house and yard were disgracefully dirty with rusty tin cans strewn about …— Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses
2 : to spread by scattering I strewed crumbs for the birds.
3 : to cover by or as if by scattering something Drivers strewed the highway with litter.

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More from Merriam-Webster on strew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strew

Spanish Central: Translation of strew

Nglish: Translation of strew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strew for Arabic Speakers

Comments on strew

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showing steady, earnest care and effort

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