v. chewed, chew·ing, chews
1. To bite and grind with the teeth; masticate.
2. To meditate on; ponder: chew a problem over.
1. To make a crushing and grinding motion with the teeth.
2. To cogitate; meditate: chewed on the difficulties ahead.
3. Informal To chew tobacco as a habit.
1. The act of chewing.
2. Something held in the mouth and chewed, especially a plug of tobacco.
chew out SlangIdioms:
To reprimand; scold.
chew the cud Slang
To ponder over; meditate.
chew the fat/rag Slang
To talk together in a friendly, leisurely way; chat at length.
[Middle English cheuen, from Old English cēowan.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.