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[yoo; Dialect yoh] /yu; Dialect yoʊ/
a female sheep, especially when fully mature.
Origin of ewe
before 1000; Middle English; Old English ēowu, ēwe; cognate with Old High German ou, ouwi, Dutch ooi, Latin ovis, Greek óïs, oîs, Sanskrit ávi
Can be confused
ewe, yew, you (see usage note at you)


[ey-vey, ey-wey] /ˈeɪ veɪ, ˈeɪ weɪ/
a member of a people of Togo and Ghana, in western Africa.
the Kwa language spoken by the Ewe people. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ewe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An ewe of mottled fleece was there with her lamb, the size of which surprised him.

    Curiosities of Olden Times S. Baring-Gould
  • But now Austin had come and swooped off with his one ewe lamb.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • The number of salmon and grilse taken from the ewe is insignificant as compared with the quantities captured in the bag-nets.

    Gairloch In North-West Ross-Shire John H. Dixon, F.S.A. Scot
  • A ewe emitted her one doleful note; another gave hers, sadly.

    The Wrong Woman Charles D. Stewart
  • This is clearly apparent from a consideration of the ewe language of the peoples of Togo, a German colonial possession.

  • The ewe, seized with fear, began turning about in the press as if in a riding-school.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet Gustave Flaubert
  • Thus the whole rebus in figure 14 reads: "Eye bee leaf ant rose can well bear awl four ewe."

  • The ram at once turned his attention to the ewe and her antagonist.

    The Watchers of the Trails Charles G. D. Roberts
British Dictionary definitions for ewe


  1. a female sheep
  2. (as modifier): a ewe lamb
Word Origin
Old English ēowu; related to Old Norse ǣr ewe, Old High German ou, Latin ovis sheep, Sanskrit avi


(pl) Ewe, Ewes. a member of a Negroid people of W Africa living chiefly in the forests of E Ghana, Togo, and Benin
the language of this people, belonging to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family
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 ewe

Old English eowu, fem. of eow "sheep," from Proto-Germanic *awi, genitive *awjoz (cf. Old Saxon ewi, Old Frisian ei, Middle Dutch ooge, Dutch ooi, Old High German ouwi "sheep," Gothic aweþi "flock of sheep"), from PIE *owi- (cf. Sanskrit avih, Greek ois, Latin ovis, Lithuanian avis "sheep," Old Church Slavonic ovica "ewe," Old Irish oi "sheep," Welsh ewig "hind").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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