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Alternative forms[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).



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, scene 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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