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See also: Lewis



From Middle English lewis, of uncertain origin. Possibly from Old French lous, plural of lou, loup (the name of a kind of siege engine, literally wolf); or related to clevis.


lewis (plural lewises)

  1. A cramp iron inserted into a cavity in order to lift heavy stones; used as a symbol of strength in Freemasonry. Hence, metaphorically, the son of a Freemason, envisaged as assisting his father in heavy work or in old age.
  2. A kind of shears used in cropping woollen cloth.
    • 1835, Andrew Ure, The philosophy of manufactures (page 203)
      After the preeming period, the lads are put either to the gig-machines, or to the lewises in the cutting or shearing-room.