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

  • transitive v. To make or shape with or as if with an ax: hew a path through the underbrush.
  • transitive v. To cut down with an ax; fell: hew an oak.
  • transitive v. To strike or cut; cleave.
  • intransitive v. To cut something by repeated blows, as of an ax.
  • intransitive v. To adhere or conform strictly; hold: hew to the line.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. hue; colour
  • n. shape; form
  • v. To chop away at; to whittle down; to mow down.
  • v. To shape; to form.
  • v. To act according to, to conform to; usually construed with to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Destruction by cutting down.
  • n. Hue; color.
  • n. Shape; form.
  • transitive v. To cut with an ax; to fell with a sharp instrument; -- often with down, or off.
  • transitive v. To form or shape with a sharp instrument; to cut; hence, to form laboriously; -- often with out.
  • transitive v. To cut in pieces; to chop; to hack.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut; especially, to cut with an ax, a hatchet, or a sword with a swinging blow; cut with a heavy blow or with repeated blows: as, to hew down a tree.
  • To form or shape by blows with a sharp instrument; cut roughly into form; shape out by cutting: often with out: as, to hew timber; to hew out a sepulcher from a rock.
  • To cut; inflict cutting blows.
  • n. Destruction by cutting down.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of hue.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of hue.

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

  • v. strike with an axe; cut down, strike
  • v. make or shape as with an axe


Middle English hewen, from Old English hēawan; see kau- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hewen, from Old English hēawan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwanan, from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂u- (“to strike, hew, forge”). Cognate with Scots hew, hewe, West Frisian houwe, Dutch houwen, German hauen, Swedish hugga, Icelandic höggva; and with Latin cūdō ("strike, beat, pound, forge"), Lithuanian káuti ("to beat, forge"), Albanian hu ("a club, pole"). See also hoe. (Wiktionary)



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