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Old English deaw, from Proto-Germanic *dawwaz (cf. Old Saxon dau, Old Frisian daw, Middle Dutch dau, Old High German tau, German Tau, Old Norse dögg "dew"), from PIE root *dheu- (2) "to flow" (cf. Sanskrit dhavate "flows, runs").
Water droplets condensed from the air, usually at night, onto cool surfaces near the ground. Dew forms when the temperature of the surfaces falls below the dew point of the surrounding air, usually due to radiational cooling. See also frost.
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"There is no dew properly so called in Palestine, for there is no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled into dew-drops by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain is unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after day. The heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation would perish but for the moist west winds that come each night from the sea. The bright skies cause the heat of the day to radiate very quickly into space, so that the nights are as cold as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from which poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this coldness of the night air the indispensable watering of all plant-life is due. The winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed of it as they pass over the land, the cold air condensing it into drops of water, which fall in a gracious rain of mist on every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created rests like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills, which raise their heads above it like so many islands. At sunrise, however, the scene speedily changes. By the kindling light the mist is transformed into vast snow-white clouds, which presently break into separate masses and rise up the mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by the increasing heat. These are 'the morning clouds and the early dew that go away' of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so touchingly" (Geikie's The Holy Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12), and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Sam. 1:21; 1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam. 17:12; Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual blessings (Hos. 14:5).