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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 thews
Historical Examples
  • And the King thought he had mightily grown in stature and thews.

  • Hath he no the smooth face o' a bairn and the thews' o' Behemoth?'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • With a snarl he exerted his inhuman strength, and knots and lumps and ropes of thews rose along his massive arms.

    Shadows in Zamboula Robert E. Howard
  • When your thews are grown it will not be on thuribles they'll spend their strength, or I'm a liar else.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • Either you died under the strain, or your thews and sinews grew to be equal to their relentless task.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • None could find fault with their thews and sinews, and as for their spirit, it is for us to see it does not fail.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • thews and sinews are theirs, and an intimate knowledge of the woods.

    Sea-Dogs All! Tom Bevan
  • Another large class, the thews, were the absolute property of their owners.

    The Normans Sarah Orne Jewett
  • Her thews were strong, and she loved it all the more for the tests that it put to its children.

    The Sky Line of Spruce Edison Marshall
  • At least, send him not till his thews are laced and his bones set.

    The Book-Bills of Narcissus Le Gallienne, Richard
British Dictionary definitions for thews


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 thews

Old English þeawes "customs, manners, personal qualities," plural of þeaw "habit, custom," from Proto-Germanic *thawaz (cf. Old Saxon thau "usage, custom, habit," Old High German thau "discipline"); no certain cognates outside West Germanic and of unknown origin. Meaning "bodily powers or parts indicating strength, good physique" is attested from 1560s, from notion of "good qualities." Acquired a sense of "muscular development" when it was revived by Scott (1818).



Old English þeaw; see thews.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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