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Denotation vs. Connotation

mew1

[myoo] /myu/
noun
1.
the tiny, high-pitched sound a cat or kitten makes.
2.
the characteristic sound a gull makes.
verb (used without object)
3.
to make a mew or emit a similar sound.
Origin of mew1
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English meuen; imitative
Can be confused
mews, muse.

mew2

[myoo] /myu/
noun
1.
a small gull, Larus canus, of Eurasia and northwestern North America.
Also called mew gull.
Origin
before 900; Middle English; Old English mǣwe; cognate with German Müwe

mew3

[myoo] /myu/
noun
1.
a cage for hawks, especially while molting.
2.
a pen in which poultry is fattened.
3.
a place of retirement or concealment.
4.
mews, (usually used with a singular verb) Chiefly British.
  1. (formerly) an area of stables built around a small street.
  2. a street having small apartments converted from such stables.
verb (used with object)
5.
Archaic. to shut up in or as in a mew; confine; conceal (often followed by up).
Origin
1325-75; Middle English mue < Middle French, akin to muer to molt. See mew4

mew4

[myoo] /myu/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
1.
to shed (feathers); to molt.
Origin
1325-75; Middle English mewen < Old French muer to molt < Latin mūtāre to change
Related forms
mewer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mews
Contemporary Examples
  • His most recent job in London was at the mews of Mayfair, where the kitchen put out elegant renditions of modern British cooking.

    Fresh Picks Chris Rendell October 3, 2011
Historical Examples
  • Thrusting my head through the bars I could see from end to end of the mews.

    Ghosts I Have Seen Violet Tweedale
  • At length as they wandered they came to a part where seemed to be only small houses and mews.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Nothing ever comes there but the gulls and mews, with a few sea parrots.

    The Lost Middy George Manville Fenn
  • By now the mews had wakened to the fact of the presence of a "toff" in its midst.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • He comes straight from Denmark, and is accounted equal to any King Sweyn at present hath in his mews.

    The Siege of Norwich Castle Matilda Maria Blake
  • All the lodgings I knew are full, and our bedrooms look into a mews.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • It was an intense relief to speak to some one who could understand his mews.

    The Magic World Edith Nesbit
  • We dashed to the back of the house, through the servants' quarters and out into the mews.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • Callest thou that life which mews itself up in a cell like the dungeon of a felon, and flickers out like a candle in the dark?

    Albrecht Arlo Bates
British Dictionary definitions for mews

mews

/mjuːz/
noun (functioning as singular or pl) (mainly Brit)
1.
a yard or street lined by buildings originally used as stables but now often converted into dwellings
2.
the buildings around a mews
3.
(informal) an individual residence in a mews
Word Origin
C14: pl of mew³, originally referring to royal stables built on the site of hawks' mews at Charing Cross in London

mew1

/mjuː/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (esp of a cat) to make a characteristic high-pitched cry
noun
2.
such a sound
Word Origin
C14: imitative

mew2

/mjuː/
noun
1.
any seagull, esp the common gull, Larus canus Also called mew gull, sea mew
Word Origin
Old English mǣw; compare Old Saxon mēu, Middle Dutch mēwe

mew3

/mjuː/
noun
1.
a room or cage for hawks, esp while moulting
verb
2.
(transitive) often foll by up. to confine (hawks or falcons) in a shelter, cage, etc, usually by tethering them to a perch
3.
to confine, conceal
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mue, from muer to moult, from Latin mūtāre to change

mew4

/mjuː/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (of hawks or falcons) to moult
2.
(transitive) (obsolete) to shed (one's covering, clothes, etc)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French muer to moult, from Latin mūtāre to change
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 mews
n.

"stables grouped around an open yard," 1630s, from Mewes, name of the royal stables at Charing Cross, built 1534 on the site of the former royal mews (attested from late 14c.), where the king's hawks were kept (see mew (n.2)). Extended by 1805 to "street of former stables converted to human habitations."

mew

v.

"make a sound like a cat," early 14c., mewen, of imitative origin (cf. German miauen, French miauler, Italian miagolare, Spanish maullar, and see meow). Related: Mewed; mewing. As a noun from 1590s.

n.

"seagull," Old English mæw, from Proto-Germanic *maigwis (cf. Old Saxon mew, Frisian meau, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German mewe, Dutch meeuw "gull"), imitative of its cry. Old French moue (Modern French mouette) and Lithuanian mevas are Germanic loan-words.

"cage," c.1300, from Old French mue "cage for hawks, especially when molting," from muer "to molt," from Latin mutare "to change" (see mutable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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