yew

noun
\ ˈyü How to pronounce yew (audio) \

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
b : the wood of a yew especially : the heavy fine-grained wood of the English yew
2 archaic : an archery bow made of yew

Illustration of yew

Illustration of yew

yew 1a

Examples of yew in a Sentence

a bow made of yew
Recent Examples on the Web Thanks to her German origin, Victoria's mother had brought in yew trees for the holidays, but Victoria and Albert really made the trend catch on in 1848. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Royal Family Went All-Out on Christmas Decorations for Windsor Castle," 2 Dec. 2019 The yew actually doesn’t look like one single tree. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "U.K.’s Oldest Tree Is Being Besieged by Tourists," 21 June 2019 But the ancient yew tree may not be around much longer. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "U.K.’s Oldest Tree Is Being Besieged by Tourists," 21 June 2019 The mood is not for cubes of boxwood and precision-cut yew, but a wilder shagginess. Kendra Wilson, Vogue, "At 2019’s Chelsea Flower Show, Wild Survivalist Gardens Grow," 21 May 2019 Photo: courtesy of Cool Patch Pumpkins Peace Maze, Castlewellan, Ireland In 1998, more than a thousand community members began construction of this three-acre hedge maze made out of 6,000 yew trees. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "9 Magnificent Manmade Mazes," 30 Sep. 2010 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Read some of our award-winning stories on everything from poisonous yew to Boise State wrestling below. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Idaho Statesman staff earns 31 Idaho Press Club awards | Idaho Statesman," 29 Apr. 2018 Proud parades of topiary yews, surely once immaculate, have gone slightly shaggy. David Usborne, Town & Country, "The Mysterious Case of the Parnham House Fire," 29 May 2018 For instance, deer will generally eat yews and arborvitae, and leave boxwood alone. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Sunny or shady? Sandy or clay soil? Know specifics of your garden before picking plants.," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of yew

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

History and Etymology for yew

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

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Time Traveler for yew

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for yew

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Yew.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yew. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for yew

yew

noun
How to pronounce yew (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of yew

: an evergreen tree or bush with stiff needles and small red berries
: the wood of a yew

yew

noun
\ ˈyü How to pronounce yew (audio) \

Kids Definition of yew

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

yew

noun
\ ˈyü How to pronounce yew (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on yew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yew

Spanish Central: Translation of yew

Nglish: Translation of yew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yew

Comments on yew

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