follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

pew

[pyoo] /pyu/
noun
1.
(in a church) one of a number of fixed, benchlike seats with backs, accessible by aisles, for the use of the congregation.
2.
an enclosed seat in a church, or an enclosure with seats, usually reserved for a family or other group of worshipers.
3.
those occupying pews; congregation.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English puwe < Middle French puie balcony < Latin podia, plural (taken as singular) of podium balcony. See podium
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for pew

pew

/pjuː/
noun
1.
(in a church)
  1. one of several long benchlike seats with backs, used by the congregation
  2. an enclosed compartment reserved for the use of a family or other small group
2.
(Brit, informal) a seat (esp in the phrase take a pew)
Word Origin
C14 pywe, from Old French puye, from Latin podium a balcony, from Greek podion supporting structure, from pous foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pew
n.

late 14c., "raised, enclosed seat for certain worshippers" (ladies, important men, etc.), from Old French puie, puy "balcony, elevation," from Latin podia, plural of podium "elevated place," also "balcony in a Roman theater" (see podium). Meaning "fixed bench with a back, for a number of worshippers" is attested from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for pew

originally a raised and enclosed place in a church designed for an ecclesiastical dignitary or officer; the meaning was later extended to include special seating in the body of the church for distinguished laity and, finally, to include all church seating. In its early stages, the pew was meant for standing in and was close in conception to a pulpit; but in its second phase of development, it became an elaborate wooden structure, shut off from the main body of the nave, with seats, prayer benches, and other accessories. Such pews were owned by individuals or institutions and appeared both in wills and in legal actions

Learn more about pew with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pew

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pew

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with pew

Nearby words for pew