Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To bite and grind with the teeth; masticate.
  • transitive v. To meditate on; ponder: chew a problem over.
  • intransitive v. To make a crushing and grinding motion with the teeth.
  • intransitive v. To cogitate; meditate: chewed on the difficulties ahead.
  • intransitive v. Informal To use chewing tobacco.
  • n. The act of chewing.
  • n. Something held in the mouth and chewed, especially a plug of tobacco. See Regional Note at chaw.
  • chew out Slang To reprimand; scold.
  • idiom chew the cud Slang To ponder over; meditate.
  • idiom fat Slang To talk together in a friendly, leisurely way; chat at length.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small sweet, such as a taffy, that is eaten by chewing.
  • n. Chewing tobacco.
  • n. A plug or wad of chewing tobacco; chaw or a chaw.
  • v. To crush with the teeth by repeated closing and opening of the jaws; done to food to soften it and break it down by the action of saliva before it is swallowed.
  • v. To grind, tear, or otherwise degrade or demolish something with teeth or as with teeth.
  • v. To think about something; to ponder; to chew over.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is chewed; that which is held in the mouth at once; a cud.
  • intransitive v. To perform the action of biting and grinding with the teeth; to ruminate; to meditate.
  • transitive v. To bite and grind with the teeth; to masticate.
  • transitive v. To ruminate mentally; to meditate on.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bite and grind with the teeth; masticate, as food, preparatory to swallowing and digestion.
  • Figuratively, to ruminate on in the thoughts; meditate on.
  • Synonyms Bite, Gnaw, etc. See eat.
  • To perform the act of biting and grinding with the teeth; champ; ruminate. Specifically
  • To press or grind tobacco between the teeth for the sake of its flavor or stimulating effects.
  • Figuratively, to meditate; reflect.
  • n. That which is chewed; that which is held in the mouth at one time; especially, a quid of tobacco.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wad of something chewable as tobacco
  • v. chew (food); to bite and grind with the teeth
  • n. biting and grinding food in your mouth so it becomes soft enough to swallow

Etymologies

Middle English cheuen, from Old English cēowan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English chewen, from Old English ċēowan, from Proto-Germanic *kewwanan, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵi̯euh₁- (compare Latin gingīva ("gums"), Tocharian B śuwaṃ ‘eat’, Polish żuję ("I chew"), Persian ǰāvīdan, Pashto žovạl ("to bite, gnaw")). (Wiktionary)

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