Definition of chew in English:

chew

Line breaks: chew
Pronunciation: /tʃuː
 
/

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
    masticate, munch, champ, chomp, crunch, bite, nibble, gnaw, grind; eat, consume, devour
    technical manducate, triturate
    rare chumble
  • 1.1Gnaw at (something) persistently: 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

Back to top  
  • 1A repeated biting or gnawing of something: the dog was enjoying a quiet chew of his bone
    More 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 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.
  • 1.2A chewy sweet: a gobstopper or a chew could be bought for a farthing
    More example sentences
    • Now there are vitamin-laced jelly beans and ginseng-stoked chews.
    • Vicky said it tasted of candyfloss, but there was also a sharpness that reminded me of the mouth-lacerating ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ penny chews from when I was little.
    • You could walk in to a shop with a pound, hoping to buy thirty penny chews and come out with 70p, but by the time you got to the checkout the price would have gone up.

Phrases

chew the cud

see cud.

chew the fat (or rag)

informal Chat in a leisurely and prolonged way: we were chewing the fat, telling stories about the old days
More 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.
Synonyms
chat, talk, converse, speak to each other, discuss things, have a talk, have a chat, have a tête-à-tête, have a conversation
informal have a confab, jaw, rap, yak, yap
British informal natter, rabbit, have a chinwag, chinwag
North American informal shoot the breeze, shoot the bull, visit
Australian/New Zealand informal mag
formal confabulate

Phrasal verbs

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.

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, think over, think through, mull over, contemplate, consider, weigh up, ponder on, deliberate on, reflect on, muse on, cogitate about, dwell on, take stock of, give thought to, turn over in one's mind, consider the pros and cons of; brood over, wrestle with, puzzle over, rack one's brains about; North American think on
archaic pore on
rare cerebrate

chew something up

Damage 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

adjective
More 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, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch kauwen and German kauen.

More definitions of chew

Definition of chew in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw