SKIP TO CONTENT

hew

If you're a lumberjack, the word hew is nothing new. You hew things every day with one swift swing of the axe, chopping and shaping wood.

It's said that Paul Bunyan hewed the Grand Canyon by dragging his giant mythical axe behind him. But usually things are hewn with a little more purpose — with each chop and cut designed to shape, sculpt, or craft a final product. Take the axe out of the picture though, and this word takes on a different meaning. If you're trying to adhere to rules, stick to a budget, or conform to a certain tradition, you can use hew, too.

Definitions of hew
  1. verb
    make or shape as with an axe
    hew out a path in the rock”
    synonyms: hew out
    see moresee less
    types:
    rough-hew, roughcast
    hew roughly, without finishing the surface
    type of:
    carve
    form by carving
  2. verb
    strike with an axe; cut down, strike
    hew an oak”
    see moresee less
    types:
    snag
    hew jaggedly
    type of:
    strike
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  3. verb
    be compatible or in accordance with
    synonyms: adhere
    see moresee less
    type of:
    agree, check, correspond, fit, gibe, jibe, match, tally
    be compatible, similar, or consistent; coincide in their characteristics
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week