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chew

[choo] /tʃu/
verb (used with object)
1.
to crush or grind with the teeth; masticate.
2.
to crush, damage, injure, etc., as if by chewing (often followed by up):
The faulty paper feeder chewed the letters up.
3.
to make by or as if by chewing:
The puppy chewed a hole in my slipper.
4.
to meditate on; consider deliberately (often followed by over):
He chewed the problem over in his mind.
verb (used without object)
5.
to perform the act of crushing or grinding with the teeth.
6.
Informal. to chew tobacco.
7.
to meditate.
noun
8.
an act or instance of chewing.
9.
something chewed or intended for chewing:
a chew of tobacco; taffy chews.
Verb phrases
10.
chew out, Slang. to scold harshly:
The sergeant chewed out the recruits.
Idioms
11.
chew the fat, Informal. to converse at length in a relaxed manner; chat:
They liked to sit around chewing the fat.
Also, chew the rag.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English chewen, Old English cēowan; cognate with Old High German kiuwan (German kauen)
Related forms
chewer, noun
unchewed, adjective
well-chewed, adjective
Can be confused
chews, choose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for chewing
  • Finally he could borrow no more rings, owing to his nervous habit of chewing them out of shape.
  • People often ask me how to keep pets from chewing on leaves or digging in the dirt of houseplants.
  • They easily breached that barrier by jumping onto the netting from a nearby tree and chewing their way through.
  • Everybody knows that chewing your food carefully is part of good table manners.
  • These hold in place the prodigious jaw muscles they need for chewing greens all day.
  • They produce saliva, which moistens food to help with chewing and swallowing.
  • Perhaps chewing coca leaves would do it for everyone.
  • All you need is an athlete chewing candy operating a treadmill powered generator.
  • Drugmakers have made nicotine available in a range of delivery systems, from transdermal patches to chewing gum and inhalers.
  • Don't be fooled by those big bovine eyes and the mouth slowly chewing cud-cows have a magnetic personality.
British Dictionary definitions for chewing

chew

/tʃuː/
verb
1.
to work the jaws and teeth in order to grind (food); masticate
2.
to bite repeatedly: she chewed her nails anxiously
3.
(intransitive) to use chewing tobacco
4.
(slang) chew the fat, chew the rag
  1. to argue over a point
  2. to talk idly; gossip
noun
5.
the act of chewing
6.
something that is chewed: a chew of tobacco
Derived Forms
chewable, adjective
chewer, noun
Word Origin
Old English ceowan; related to Old High German kiuwan, Dutch kauwen, Latin gingīva a gum
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
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Word Origin and History for chewing

chew

v.

Old English ceowan "to bite, gnaw, chew," from West Germanic *keuwwan (cf. Middle Low German keuwen, Dutch kauwen, Old High German kiuwan, German kauen), from PIE root *gyeu- "to chew" (cf. Old Church Slavonic živo "to chew," Lithuanian žiaunos "jaws," Persian javidan "to chew").

Figurative sense of "to think over" is from late 14c.; to chew the rag "discusss some matter" is from 1885, apparently originally British army slang. Related: Chewed; chewing. To chew (someone) out (1948) probably is military slang from World War II. Chewing gum is by 1843, American English, originally hardened secretions of the spruce tree.

n.

c.1200, "an act of chewing," from chew (v.). Meaning "wad of tobacco chewed at one time" is from 1725; as a kind of chewy candy, by 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for chewing

chew

noun

: He had big chew in his cheek (1920s+)

verb
  1. To chew tobacco (1930s+)
  2. To eat (1890+)
  3. (also chew over) To talk; converse; discuss; jaw: We got together to chew about the election/ Drop up and chew it over (1890s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with chewing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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16
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