When you chew, you use your teeth to grind up food before you swallow it. It can be pretty unpleasant to watch your brother chew his pizza with his mouth open.

Usually when people chew, they chew up a bite of food or chew on a candy bar. You can also chew your nails or chew your lower lip — you're not actually eating something, but just using your teeth to gnaw or bite. You can also use the word chew figuratively, to mean "think or mull over." It comes from an Old English root, ceowan, "to gnaw or chew."

Definitions of chew

v chew (food); to bite and grind with the teeth

Chew your food and don't swallow it!”
jaw, manducate, masticate
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
champ, chomp
chew noisily
chafe at the bit, like horses
gum, mumble
grind with the gums; chew without teeth and with great difficulty
chew without swallowing
crunch, munch
chew noisily
bite or chew on with the teeth
Type of:
grate, grind
make a grating or grinding sound by rubbing together

n biting and grinding food in your mouth so it becomes soft enough to swallow

chewing, manduction, mastication
the act of chewing noisily
gumming, mumbling
ineffectual chewing (as if without teeth)
(of ruminants) chewing (the cud)
Type of:
change of state
the act of changing something into something different in essential characteristics

n a wad of something chewable as tobacco

chaw, cud, plug, quid, wad
Type of:
bit, bite, morsel
a small amount of solid food; a mouthful

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.