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[thyoo] /θyu/
Usually, thews. muscle or sinew.
thews, physical strength.
Origin of thew
before 900; Middle English; Old English thēaw custom, usage; cognate with Old High German thau (later dau) discipline; akin to Latin tuērī to watch
Related forms
thewy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thew
Historical Examples
  • When this is so, the thew or servus is like to appear as the unfreest of persons rather than as no person but a thing.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
  • But do not count us by what we are in thew and muscle, but by what our summons can do among our countrymen.

    Red Gauntlet Sir Walter Scott
  • He was tall and great of thew and sinew—a giant among men, towering head and shoulders even above the tall Frankish warriors.

  • And she thew herself into Ralph's arms, while the tears of sorrow were quickly turned to tears of joy.

    The Young Bridge-Tender Arthur M. Winfield
  • Thou art a man of many inches—of thew and sinew—Hey, but thou art a man!

  • An unseen power lifted him from his bed, thew him across the room, and tossed him from one side of the room to the other.

  • The climber here tastes the full enjoyment of an encounter with untamed nature, which calls every thew and sinew into action.

  • The man who labours with thew and sinew at horse labour—crane labour—not for himself, but for others, is not the man who saves.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • Nick, larger than his brother, was a tower of thew and muscle.

    In the Brooding Wild Ridgwell Cullum
  • He is the thew of the Anglo-Saxon dooms, the servus of the ecclesiastical canons.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
British Dictionary definitions for thew


muscle, esp if strong or well-developed
(pl) muscular strength
Derived Forms
thewy, adjective
thewless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English thēaw; related to Old Saxon, Old High German thau discipline, Latin tuērī to observe, tūtus secure
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 thew

Old English þeaw; see thews.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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