Middle English chewen, from Old English ċēowan, from Proto-Germanic *kewwaną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵi̯euh₁- (compare Latin gingīva (“gums”), Tocharian B śuwaṃ ‘eat’, Polish żuję (“I chew”), Persian ǰāvīdan, Pashto žovạl (“to bite, gnaw”)).
chew (plural chews)
- A small sweet, such as a taffy, that is eaten by chewing.
- Phillip purchased a bag of licorice chews at the drugstore.
- (informal, uncountable) Chewing tobacco.
- The school had banned chew and smokes from the school grounds, even for adults.
- (countable or uncountable) A plug or wad of chewing tobacco; chaw or a chaw.
- The ballplayers sat on the bench watching the rain, glumly working their chews.
- The first time he chewed tobacco, he swallowed his chew and got extremely sick.
Derived terms 
- 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.
- Make sure to chew thoroughly, and don't talk with your mouth full!
- The steak was tough to chew as it had been cooked too long.
- To grind, tear, or otherwise degrade or demolish something with teeth or as with teeth.
- He keep his feed in steel drums to prevent the mice from chewing holes in the feed-sacks.
- The harsh desert wind and sand had chewed the stump into ragged strips of wood.
- (informal) To think about something; to ponder; to chew over.
- The professor stood at the blackboard, chalk in hand, and chewed the question the student had asked.
- (crush food with teeth prior to swallowing): bite, chomp, crunch, masticate
- (degrade or demolish as if with teeth): grind, pulverize, rip, shred, tear
- (think about): contemplate, ruminate, mull, muse, ponder
- See also Wikisaurus:ponder
Derived terms