mew

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English mewe, mowe, meau, from Old English mǣw, from Proto-Germanic *maihwaz, *maiwaz (seagull) (compare West Frisian meau, mieu, Dutch meeuw, German Möwe), from *maiwijaną (to shout, mew) (compare Middle English mawen (to shout, mew), Middle Dutch mauwen, Middle High German māwen); akin to Latvian maût (to roar), Old Church Slavonic мꙑꙗти (myjati, to mew).

Noun[edit]

mew (plural mews)

  1. (archaic, poetic) A gull, seagull.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto XII:
      A daungerous and detestable place, / To which nor fish nor fowle did once approch, / But yelling Meawes, with Seagulles hoarse and bace []
    • 1954, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring:
      From helm to sea they saw him leap, / As arrow from the string, / And dive into the water deep, / As mew upon the wing.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English mewe, mue, mwe, from Anglo-Norman mue, muwe, and Middle French mue (shedding feathers; cage for moulting birds; prison), from muer (to moult).

Noun[edit]

mew (plural mews)

  1. (obsolete) A prison, or other place of confinement.
  2. (obsolete) A hiding place; a secret store or den.
  3. (obsolete) A breeding-cage for birds.
  4. (falconry) A cage for hawks, especially while moulting.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , vol.I, New York, 2001, p.243:
      A horse in a stable that never travels, a hawk in a mew that seldom flies, are both subject to diseases; which, left unto themselves, are most free from any such encumbrances.
  5. (falconry, in the plural) A building or set of buildings where moulting birds are kept.

Verb[edit]

mew (third-person singular simple present mews, present participle mewing, simple past and past participle mewed)

  1. (obsolete) To shut away, confine, lock up.
    • c. 1669, John Donne, "Loves Warre":
      To mew me in a Ship, is to inthrall / Mee in a prison, that weare like to fall [...].
    • William Shakespeare
      More pity that the eagle should be mewed.
    • John Dryden
      Close mewed in their sedans, for fear of air.
    • 1748, Tobias Smollett, chapter 50, in The Adventures of Roderick Random.:
      When it came to his turn to mention Sir John Sparkle, he represented him as a man of an immense estate and narrow disposition, who mewed up his only child, a fine young lady, from the conversation of mankind, under the strict watch and inspection of an old governante, who was either so honest, envious, or insatiable, that nobody had been as yet able to make her a friend, or get access to her charge, though numbers attempted it every day []
  2. (of a bird) To moult.
    The hawk mewed his feathers.
    • John Dryden
      Nine times the moon had mewed her horns.
  3. (of a bird, obsolete) To cause to moult.
  4. (of a deer, obsolete) To shed antlers.

Etymology 3[edit]

Onomatopoeic

Noun[edit]

mew (plural mews)

  1. The crying sound of a cat; a meow.
  2. The crying sound of a gull.
  3. (obsolete) An exclamation of disapproval; a boo.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

mew (third-person singular simple present mews, present participle mewing, simple past and past participle mewed)

  1. (of a cat) To meow.
Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

mew

  1. A cat's cry.
  2. A gull's cry.
  3. (archaic) An exclamation of disapproval; a boo.

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

mew

  1. Alternative form of mewe (cage)

Yurok[edit]

Noun[edit]

mew

  1. widower