Definition of yew
1a : 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 yewb : 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
a bow made of yew
Recent Examples of yew from the Web
About 400 of these species—including rosewood, bigleaf mahogany and Asian yews—are actively, commercially exploited.
Lawns were divided by hedges of yew and rhododendron and paths bordered by brilliant flowers, specimen magnolias, cypresses and conifers.
Stroud has turned traditional conservation on its head by facilitating the fern’s canopy survival hack in the cape yew trees.
To commemorate the sergeant’s visit, Stroud has invited him to plant a ceremonial tree to contribute to this effort of creating a large cape yew canopy, where the last endemic ferns might persist.
Learn how waste becomes grower’s gold Want to get rid of the toxic yew in your yard?
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.
Origin and Etymology of yew
Middle English ew, from Old English īw; akin to Old High German īwa yew, Middle Irish eó
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
YEW Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of yew for Students
: a tree or shrub with stiff needlelike evergreen leaves and seeds having a red juicy covering
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
Seen and Heard
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