strew

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English strewen, strawen, streowen, from Old English strewian, strēawian, strēowian (to strew, scatter), from Proto-Germanic *strawjaną (to strew), from Proto-Indo-European *strew- (to spread, scatter). Cognate with Scots strow, straw (to strew), West Frisian streauwe (to strew), Dutch strooien (to strew, scatter, sprinkle), German streuen (to strew, scatter), Swedish strö (to strew), Icelandic strá (to strew).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

strew (third-person singular simple present strews, present participle strewing, simple past strewed, past participle strewn or strewed)

  1. To distribute objects or pieces of something over an area, especially in a random manner.
    to strew sand over a floor
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, act 5, sc. 3:
      Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew.
    • Dryden
      And strewed his mangled limbs about the field.
    • Beaconsfield
      On a principal table a desk was open and many papers strewn about.
  2. To cover, or lie upon, by having been scattered.
    Leaves strewed the ground.
    • Spenser
      The snow which does the top of Pindus strew.
    • Alexander Pope
      Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain?
  3. (transitive) To spread abroad; to disseminate.
    • Shakespeare
      She may strew dangerous conjectures.

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