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See also: Pew and PEW




Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pewe, borrowed from Middle French puie (balustrade), from Latin podia, plural of podium (parapet, podium), from Ancient Greek πόδιον (pódion, little foot), from πούς (poús, foot). Doublet of podium.


pew (plural pews)

  1. One of the long benches in a church, seating several persons, usually fixed to the floor and facing the chancel.
    In many churches some pews are reserved for either clerical or liturgical officials such as canons, or for prominent families.
  2. An enclosed compartment in a church which provides seating for a group of people, often a prominent family.
    • 2006 September 11, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Bush Mourns 9/11 at Ground Zero as N.Y. Remembers", The New York Times [1]
      At St. Patrick’s Cathedral, firefighters in dress blues and white gloves escorted families to the pews for a memorial service, led by Mr. Bloomberg, to honor the 343 Fire Department employees killed on 9/11.
  3. Any structure shaped like a church pew, such as a stall, formerly used by money lenders, etc.; a box in a theatre; or a pen or sheepfold.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Samuel Pepys to this entry?)
    • 1659, John Milton, Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings Out of the Church, London: L. Chapman,[2]
      the sheep in their pews
  4. (colloquial, humorous) A chair; a seat.
    Pull up a pew.
    • 1956, Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 38:
      Victor Crabbe's headmaster was a little man called Boothby [...] who subscribed to a popular book club and had many long-playing records, who invited people to curry tiffin and said, "Take a pew."
Derived terms[edit]


pew (third-person singular simple present pews, present participle pewing, simple past and past participle pewed)

  1. To furnish with pews.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ash to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

Possibly from French putois (skunk) or puer (to stink) or a clipping of putrid.

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. An expression of disgust in response to an unpleasant odor.

Etymology 3[edit]




  1. Representative of the sound made by the firing of a gun.


  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967