from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A ball of yarn or thread.
- n. Greek Mythology The ball of thread used by Theseus to find his way out of the labyrinth.
- n. The cords by which a hammock is suspended.
- n. Nautical One of the two lower corners of a square sail.
- n. Nautical The lower aft corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
- n. Nautical A metal loop attached to the lower corner of a sail.
- transitive v. To roll or coil into a ball.
- transitive v. Nautical To raise the lower corners of (a square sail) by means of clew lines. Used with up.
- n. Chiefly British Variant of clue1.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A roughly spherical mass or body.
- n. A ball of thread or yarn.
- n. Yarn or thread as used to guide one's way through a maze or labyrinth; a guide, a clue.
- n. The lower corner(s) of a sail to which a sheet is attached for trimming the sail (adjusting its position relative to the wind); the metal loop or cringle in the corner of the sail, to which the sheet is attached. On a triangular sail, the clew is the trailing corner relative to the wind direction.
- n. The sheets so attached to a sail.
- n. The cords suspending a hammock.
- n. Archaic form of clue.
- v. to roll into a ball
- v. (transitive and intransitive) to raise the lower corner(s) of (a sail)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A ball of thread, yarn, or cord; also, The thread itself.
- n. That which guides or directs one in anything of a doubtful or intricate nature; that which gives a hint in the solution of a mystery.
- n. A lower corner of a square sail, or the after corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
- n. A loop and thimbles at the corner of a sail.
- n. A combination of lines or nettles by which a hammock is suspended.
- transitive v. To direct; to guide, as by a thread.
- transitive v. To move of draw (a sail or yard) by means of the clew garnets, clew lines, etc.; esp. to draw up the clews of a square sail to the yard.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- See clue.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a ball of yarn or cord or thread
- v. roll into a ball
- n. evidence that helps to solve a problem
Middle English clewe, from Old English cliwen.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English clewe from Old English cleowen, cliewen, cliwen, from Proto-Germanic *kliuwinan (“ball”), from Proto-Indo-European *glew- (“to conglomerate, gather into a mass”). Akin to Old English clǣġ ("clay"). (Wiktionary)