Definition of chew in English:

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chew

Pronunciation: /CHo͞o/

verb

[with object]
1Bite and work (food) in the mouth with the teeth, especially to make it easier to swallow: he was chewing a mouthful of toast [no object]: he chewed for a moment, then swallowed
More example sentences
  • Baby teeth are important because children need healthy teeth to chew food and to speak.
  • People who chew food with their mouths open should be beaten to death with plates.
  • Carefully it placed a piece in its mouth, chewed, swallowed, and bared its teeth at them.
Synonyms
munch, chomp, champ, crunch, nibble, gnaw, eat, consume
1.1Gnaw at (something) persistently, typically as a result of worry or anxiety: he chewed his lip reflectively [no object]: she chewed at a fingernail
More example sentences
  • Ryan brought the pen he was holding to his lip to chew the pen lid, mulling the answer to a question on his revision over.
  • Her eyes moved about in worry and she began to chew her bottom lip nervously.
  • He chews tobacco though, which probably doesn't play so well with soccer moms.

noun

1A repeated biting or gnawing of something.
Example sentences
  • In fact I can't go half a mile on the car without a chew.
  • Through the gap, I turned to see a seal having a gentle chew.
  • Robin spat through chews, ‘It's mighty tasty.’
1.1Something other than food that is meant for chewing: a dog chew a chew of tobacco
More example sentences
  • She was smacking loudly on a chew of gum as she went to give her son a bear hug and a kiss.
  • Besides feasting on goodies such as sausages, dog biscuits and chews, the guests will play games, such as tug the lead, chase the ball and musical dogs.
  • He does get the regular assortment of dog treats: greenies, rawhide chews, dog biscuits, etc.

Phrases

1

chew the cud

see cud.
2

chew the fat (or rag)

informal Chat in a leisurely way, especially at length.
Example sentences
  • Oh yeah, the record itself is pretty much a narrative with its own theory, and obviously I love chewing the fat about it.
  • But personally, I think the line has been crossed when they pull up a bar stool next to you and start chewing the fat.
  • He comes across as your next-door neighbour chewing the fat with you, hoping that things will improve with time.

Phrasal verbs

1

chew someone out

North American informal Reprimand someone severely: he chewed me out for being late
More example sentences
  • I was just livid all day long at the way they chewed me out.
  • Yeah, I know I'm totally beautiful and could do better - my mother already called me and chewed me out.
  • On two separate occasions, people had come up to him in the airport while he was wearing his uniform and just chewed him out about the war.
2

chew something over

Discuss or consider something at length: executives met to chew over the company’s future
More example sentences
  • You have the opportunity to read and re-read many times, to chew it over, consider the message, roll it around in your mind, get an impression of what was truly meant.
  • The others began to join in the discussion, chewing ideas over.
  • As the nation's daily newspaper, we are the forum in which all sides of these big issues are chewed over.
Synonyms
meditate on, ruminate on, think about/over/through, mull over, consider, ponder on, deliberate on, reflect on, muse on, dwell on, give thought to, turn over in one's mind;
brood over, puzzle over, rack one's brains about
informal kick around, bat around
formal cogitate about
3

chew something up

Chew food until it is soft or in small pieces.
Example sentences
  • This development allowed the animal to breathe at the same time as retaining food in its mouth for longer periods, chewing it up into small pieces for quicker digestion.
  • Our school's meals aren't usually as bad as on TV where they're just brownish slop, but near Christmas and Thanksgiving, I do believe I would rather chew my own food up and mix it together myself.
  • Sitting next to him at dinner once, I saw him put a large piece of thick salmon skin into his mouth, and chew it up and swallow it.
3.1Damage or destroy something as if by chewing: the bikes were chewing up the paths
More example sentences
  • It's where your personality is chewed up and spat out and re-presented to you, so the trajectory of you as an individual is taken out of your hands.
  • And, as anticipated, the red squirrel population began to decline almost immediately, since its preferred habitat had been chewed up and spat out.
  • Even the most amazing things are chewed up and spat out the next week.

Derivatives

chewable

Pronunciation: /ˈCHo͞oəb(ə)l/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Many teachers complained to the civic chief that even children of lower classes were consumers of chewable tobacco that comes in sachets.
  • The beef has been sufficiently stewed to soften its collagen, making it delectably chewable.
  • But real meat, a thick chewable steak or hunk of baby sheep, has never done it for me.

chewer

noun
[usually in combination]: a tobacco-chewer
More example sentences
  • This also provides a healthy alternative to tobacco chewers.
  • Others reckoned that shops should be made to display notices advising Britain's gum chewers of their responsibilities.
  • With smokers and tobacco chewers becoming more desperate, the value of tobacco has exploded.

Origin

Old English cēowan; related to Dutch kauwen and German kauen.

Words that rhyme with chew

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chew

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