From Middle English ew, from Old English īw, ēow, from Proto-Germanic *īwaz, *īhwaz (compare Icelandic ýr), masculine variant of *īwō (compare Dutch ijf, German Eibe), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eyHweh₂ (compare Hittite [script needed] (eja, “type of evergreen”), Welsh yw (“yews”), Latgalian īva (“bird cherry”), Lithuanian ievà (“bird cherry”), Russian и́ва (íva, “willow”)).
- enPR: yo͞o, IPA(key): /juː/
- Rhymes: -uː
- Homophones: ewe, u, you, hew (in h-dropping dialects), hue (in h-dropping dialects)
- (countable) A species of coniferous tree, Taxus baccata, with dark-green flat needle-like leaves and seeds bearing red arils, native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia.
- (countable, by extension) Any tree or shrub of the genus Taxus.
- Other conifers resembling plants in genus Taxus
- (uncountable) The wood of the such trees.
1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 37:
- To prevent a too great consumption of yew, bowyers were directed to make four bows of witch-hazel, ash or elm, to one of yew, and no person under seventeen years of age, unless possessed of moveables worth forty marks, of the son of parents having an estate of ten pounds per annum might shoot in an yew bow, under a penalty of 6s. 8d.
- A bow for archery, made of yew wood.
- European yew, common yew (Taxus baccata)
- Pacific yew, western yew (Taxus brevifolia)
- Canadian yew (Taxus canadensis)
- Chinese yew (Taxus chinensis)
- Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata)
- Florida yew (Taxus floridana)
- Mexican yew (Taxus globosa)
- Sumatran yew (Taxus sumatrana)
- Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana)
- white-berry yew (Pseudotaxus chienii)
- New Caledonian yew, southern yew (Austrotaxus spicata)
- catkin yew (Amentotaxus spp.)
- plum yew (also plum-yew) (Cephalotaxus spp. or Prumnopitys spp.)
- Prince Albert's yew (Saxegothaea conspicua)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
yew (not comparable)
- Made from the wood of the yew tree.
yew (plural yêw)
- R. Blench, Beboid Comparative
From Proto-Indo-Iranian *Haywas.