Definitions

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

  • n. A pitcher, especially a decorative one with a base, an oval body, and a flaring spout.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of widemouthed pitcher or jug with a shape like a vase and a handle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of wide-mouthed pitcher or jug; esp., one used to hold water for the toilet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A water-bearer; a servant or household officer who supplied guests at the table with water to wash their hands, etc.
  • n. A large water-pitcher with a wide spout, usually coupled with a basin for purposes of ablution.
  • n. In decorative art, any vessel having a spout and handle, especially a tall and slender vessel with a foot or base. See aiguière.
  • n. An udder.

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

  • n. an open vessel with a handle and a spout for pouring

Etymologies

Middle English euer, from Anglo-Norman, from Vulgar Latin *aquāria, from Latin aquārius, of water, from aqua, water.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman ewer, eawer (= Old French aiguiere), from Vulgar Latin *aquāria, from Latin aqua ("water"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Now in this state of things, the general mode of eating must either have been with the spoon or the fingers; and this perhaps may have been the reason that spoons became an usual present from gossips to their god-children at christenings [78]; and that the bason and ewer, for washing before and after dinner, was introduced, whence the _ewerer_ was a great officer [79], and the _ewery_ is retained at Court to this day [80]; we meet with _damaske water_ after dinner [81], I presume, perfumed; and the words _ewer_ &c. plainly come from the

    The Forme of Cury A Roll of Ancient English Cookery Compiled, about A.D. 1390

  • And a basin and ewer on the only unbroken table in the room.

    Earl of Durkness

  • A Syrian bronze ewer from the eighth to early ninth century, for example, combines the shape of an earlier Byzantine glass bottle with vegetal designs inherited from third- to seventh-century Iran.

    The Many Paths Toward an Islamic Aesthetic

  • As with all displays of ceramics, there is an inherent frustration: Our fingers can't explore the surface of a glaze; we can't lift a ewer and marvel at how light—and therefore thin-walled—it is; we can't flick the rim of a stoneware bowl and hear this high-fired clay ring like porcelain.

    Vietnamese Vessels for the Heart and Soul

  • On a foot-tall ewer 12th to 14th century, a dragon dives into the round belly of the pitcher, its tail curling into a handle, its head bursting out the other end as a spout.

    Vietnamese Vessels for the Heart and Soul

  • A 12th- to 14th-century ewer featuring a dragon's tale for a handle and its head as the spout.

    Vietnamese Vessels for the Heart and Soul

  • If reeding you're techs t'is all-most tore-chore fore pea-pull, pleas bee shore two ewes thee rye-towards too right hear inn thee four-umms; its aweigh too lettuce no ewer knot uh more-ron.

    One of These Words Is Not Like The Other

  • See the confidence with which those nervy clusters of lines, the principal decorative motifs, and the bold composition cleave not merely to each other with such effortless felicity, but to the defining shape of the finished vessel — a ewer, for domestic use, less than five and half inches tall.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • At the bottom upon a low pedestal carved like a branching tree, stood a basin of silver, wide and shallow, and beside it stood a silver ewer.

    Wordflab Surgery: How to Put Your Writing Under the Knife | Write to Done

  • At the bottom upon a pedestal, stood a basin, and beside it stood a ewer.

    Wordflab Surgery: How to Put Your Writing Under the Knife | Write to Done

Comments

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  • "I staggered slightly as we made the jump; there had been a bright flash of light and a short blast of static. I found myself in the master bedroom corridor, a few lines above where Hobbes had taken Jane out. The fire was ablaze and Jane took her cue instinctively, opening the door and leaping into Rochester's room to pour a ewer full of water over the burning covers."
    - Jasper Fforde, 'The Eyre Affair'.

    October 27, 2008