yew

noun \ ˈyü \

Definition of yew

1 a : any of a genus (Taxus of the family Taxaceae, the yew family) of evergreen gymnospermous trees and shrubs with stiff linear leaves and seeds surrounded by a fleshy red aril: such as
(1) : a long-lived Eurasian tree or shrub (T. baccata) called also English yew
(2) : a low straggling bush (T. canadensis) of the eastern U.S. and Canada
(3) : pacific yew
b : the wood of a yew; especially : the heavy fine-grained wood of the English yew
2 archaic : an archery bow made of yew

Examples of yew in a Sentence

  1. a bow made of yew

Recent Examples of yew from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yew.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of yew

Origin and Etymology of yew

Middle English ew, from Old English īw; akin to Old High German īwa yew, Middle Irish

Other Seed Plant Terms


YEW Defined for English Language Learners

yew

noun

Definition of yew for English Language Learners

  • : an evergreen tree or bush with stiff needles and small red berries

  • : the wood of a yew


YEW Defined for Kids

yew

noun \ ˈyü \

Definition of yew for Students

: a tree or shrub with stiff needlelike evergreen leaves and seeds having a red juicy covering

Medical Dictionary

yew

noun \ ˈyü \

medical Definition of yew

: any of a genus (Taxus of the family Taxaceae, the yew family) of evergreen trees and shrubs with stiff linear leaves and seeds surrounded by a fleshy red aril; especially : one (T. brevifolia) of the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada whose bark yields the antineoplastic drug paclitaxel


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