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”), Norwegian Nynorsk strå (“to strew”).
- (archaic except strewn) 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.
- 1697, “Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432:
- And strewed his mangled limbs about the field.
- 1880, Benjamin Disraeli, Endymion
- On a principal table a desk was open and many papers strewn about.
- (archaic except strewn) To cover, or lie upon, by having been scattered.
- Leaves strewed the ground.
- (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
- The snow which does the top of Pindus strew.
- (transitive, archaic) To spread abroad; to disseminate.
- c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene v]:
- She may strew dangerous conjectures.
- Alternative form of