Definition of chew in English:

chew

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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Warily she plucked a grape from the bunch and popped it in her mouth, chewing before swallowing.’
    • ‘Katie could see his jaw line and every movement he made as he chewed and swallowed his food.’
    • ‘A chip was tossed at her and she caught it in her mouth, chewed vigorously, then swallowed.’
    • ‘Her teeth were too sensitive to chew her food and her eyes were too sensitive to have the dining hall curtains open for sunlight.’
    • ‘When you eat, you only put as much food in your mouth as you can comfortably chew with your mouth closed.’
    • ‘Seahorses have no stomachs or teeth and are therefore unable to store large meals or chew their food.’
    • ‘They put the leaves one by one in their mouth and chew them without swallowing.’
    • ‘With the end of the cleanse so near, I begin to obsess about tasting and chewing solid food again.’
    • ‘She was so hungry she could hardly chew the food.’
    • ‘I wiped the cheese on my mouth away with the napkin and quickly chewed and swallowed the chip.’
    • ‘He snacks or dines only when there is time to chew his food well.’
    • ‘Teach children to chew food more slowly and savour the food.’
    • ‘He stared down at his plate nervously, slowly chewing the bite of food that he just took.’
    • ‘He eats hurriedly, chewing with his mouth open as he stuffs more food in his mouth.’
    • ‘He swallowed it without chewing, just dropping it into his mouth and never seeing it again.’
    • ‘As I chewed my food, I shook my head and pretended to be appalled by his lack of interest.’
    • ‘He simply stuffed a forkful of overly priced gourmet food into his mouth and chewed slowly.’
    masticate, munch, champ, chomp, crunch, bite, nibble, gnaw, grind
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    1. 1.1Gnaw at (something) persistently.
      ‘he chewed his lip reflectively’
      no object ‘she chewed at a fingernail’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lea chews her bottom lip pensively, she looks close to cracking, but what could her secret be?’
      • ‘That's not true, for medical evidence says that smoking or chewing tobacco can kill people.’
      • ‘However, something strange happens to her voice as she stands at the door chewing her lip and waiting to be invited in.’
      • ‘The Indians chew this red weed, like some people chew tobacco, and of course this leads to a build up of red spit which needs to be deposited.’
      • ‘Glancing back at his brother, Tyler chews his lip.’
      • ‘Madison chews her bottom lip for a while in thought.’
      • ‘Martina chews the inside of her lip, examining the other woman carefully.’
      • ‘Looking longingly at the items, she stood chewing her lip, wondering which item she should get.’
      • ‘I was standing there, chewing my lip and lost in thought when I realized that he was studying my face.’
      • ‘I stood staring at him holding my soaking wet towel tight around my body chewing my bottom lip furiously.’
      • ‘She was absently chewing her bottom lip and her eyes stared blankly into space.’
      • ‘He chewed his bottom lip and didn't say much else for a while.’
      • ‘She chewed her lip nervously as she realized this was the scene where Romeo and Juliet kissed.’
      • ‘Still feeling very confused, Ally hung up the phone and chewed her lip in thought.’
      • ‘I frowned and chewed my lip worriedly as I slowly reached out to take the phone.’
      • ‘He chewed his lip anxiously as he scanned the street from the wide doorframe of the barn.’
      • ‘They chew their nails, lick their lips, jump over cracks in the pavement.’
      chew, bite, nibble, munch, crunch, champ, chomp, masticate
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1A repeated biting or gnawing of something.

    ‘the dog was enjoying a quiet chew of his bone’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘‘Sleight of hand,’ he explained between chews.’
    • ‘‘I think she's gonna score,’ said Mars between chews.’
    • ‘‘Or an old friend that wants your body,’ Andy mumbled between chews, glancing out of the window.’
    • ‘The bulldozer driver gives a quick chew of his gum and slams in the clutch.’
    • ‘Her huge lips smacked together with each chew of gum that gave off a putrid, sickening watermelon stench.’
    • ‘They say the bigger the apple the juicier the chew.’
    • ‘He's going to have a good chew on the marrow and it gives him something to hold, he said.’
    • ‘Most people today swallow their food after giving it one or two chews, and it enters the intestines very hard.’
    nip, snap, chew, munch, nibble, gnaw
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    1. 1.1Something that is meant for chewing.
      ‘a dog chew’
      ‘a chew of tobacco’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Besides being fed anything from dog chews to porridge, he is also allowed to sleep at the foot of her bed.’
      • ‘Later on, you can spend hours finding fun toys, dog chews, and dog costumes for your new best canine friend.’
      • ‘The local vet says there are lots of dental aids available for dogs from chews to little toothbrushes.’
      • ‘The dog chew would be manufactured from scrap cow skin using a special type of machine specifically designed for this purpose which was purchased from South Africa.’
      • ‘Next, they plan to test which versions of the chew toys dogs like best.’
      • ‘As Straw points out, even toys can be dangerous, using as an example the rawhide chews many dogs are so fond of; the hides are preserved and cured with chemicals that can be carcinogenic.’
      • ‘Neither is the offering of tobacco a part of generalised hospitality - except in the form of the loose tobacco which women add to betel nut chews.’
      • ‘He pulled out his pouch of tobacco and took out a chew.’
      • ‘Another up and coming illegal meat is known as ‘welly meat’ which is a hide chew.’
      • ‘She followed the noise to find two medium-sized dogs tugging and tearing at either end of a chew toy.’
      • ‘Smokeless tobacco - spit tobacco, chew, snuff or dip - is just as dangerous.’
      • ‘A woman was standing over him and a dog was playing with a chew toy on the floor.’
      • ‘So, chucking her a pork based chew, I picked up my keys and ran to David.’
      • ‘To help keep dog's teeth in tip top shape, give them rawhide chews to gnaw on.’
      • ‘I will take her out before we go so she will be tired anyway and then leave her lots of chews to munch on to keep her busy.’
      • ‘During playtime, the purebred German shepherd will run circles around anyone wearing sealskin and whine for a chew.’
      • ‘Nontobacco chews and pouches or herbal chews also may help curb your cravings.’
      quid, twist, plug, chew
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    2. 1.2A chewy sweet.
      ‘a gobstopper or a chew could be bought for a farthing’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It may sound like an oxymoron, but new candy chews and candy bars that promise dental benefits and added vitamins are coming to the candy store.’
      • ‘They spent their childhood together in her sweet shop, stealing penny chews.’
      • ‘The chocolate cap gave way to a rush of powdered sugar, and beneath it, a soft, dark, winy chew.’
      • ‘But now she's back and has won a lifetime supply of Choco - Caramel chews.’
      • ‘On Monday, I was force-fed chocolates and Werther's Original and Starburst fruit chews.’
      • ‘The site stars members of the Nabisco confection lineup, such as LifeSavers and Now and Later chews.’
      • ‘After raising a few chuckles at home he submitted it to a joke contest run by the makers of Refreshers chews - and was amazed to be chosen as the winner.’
      • ‘It is tempting to just go down the shops and recklessly spend the money, possibly blowing the lot on penny chews, but unfortunately I need all of it to make a small dent in the bigger mortgage I have on my new place.’
      • ‘I don't think I managed to blow all the money from the flat sale, but let's just say that consequently I am going to have to kiss a couple of thousand penny chews goodbye.’
      • ‘Children at Coniston Primary School have got involved as well, scrimping on the penny chews to contribute the change from their dinner money to the loo fund instead.’
      • ‘Could it be that inflation has ballooned the price of bouncy balls and penny chews?’
      • ‘And we're not talking a balloon and a penny chew.’
      • ‘I turned to look and saw this man standing there and just before I could say something, he spit his chew on the sidewalk next to my feet.’

Phrases

    chew the fat (or rag)
    informal
    • Chat in a leisurely and prolonged way.

      ‘we were chewing the fat, telling stories about the old days’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There aren't any jokes, just a bunch of normal people chewing the fat.’
      • ‘Sarah came back to mine for coffee and we chewed the rag.’
      • ‘They arrived and chewed the fat about football, namely Kildare football.’
      • ‘I am meeting Peter for coffee next week but that's just to catch up and chew the fat.’
      • ‘You can argue about our latest articles, chew the fat about politics, faith, life and culture, and gab with folk from pretty much everywhere.’
      • ‘At any rate, we sat down to chew the fat for a while.’
      • ‘But my mind is not closed and I have spent many interesting hours chewing the fat with those who come knocking on my door.’

Phrasal Verbs

    chew something over
    • Discuss or consider something at length.

      ‘executives met to chew over the company's future’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People are often consumed with the past, ruminating about events and chewing them over and over.’
      • ‘It doesn't appear that they could afford the luxury of chewing it over in the abstract and offering peer review services.’
      • ‘The adopted son chewed this news over, looked deep in thought for a moment, and with a smile spreading across his face enthused: ‘Well, can't we adopt him too?’’
      • ‘Gabriel chewed this new information over one last time before letting out a breath.’
      • ‘We talked about the play still, no matter how many times we chewed it over.’
      • ‘People normally differ by temperament, but they also differ in cognitive style, the degree to which they chew things over, worry about them, and draw negative conclusions.’
      • ‘But now he had a tricky decision to make and no one to chew it over with.’
    chew someone out
    North American informal
    • Reprimand someone severely.

      ‘he chewed me out for being late’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I figured they'd be more likely to talk to me if I gave them an excuse to chew me out.’
      • ‘I'm about to chew her out when I glance sideways.’
      • ‘He pulled a player for making a mistake, chewed him out, then hugged him around the neck and kissed him on the cheek.’
      • ‘Morgan had gone back to the house after I'd practically chewed her out and I didn't blame her.’
      • ‘After he returned to the bench, he was chewed out by his coach, who punctuated his displeasure by emphatically grabbing the player's leg.’
      • ‘When something bad happens - your boss chews you out or you discover your bank account is overdrawn again - you may need to take time to step back from the situation.’
      • ‘Your boss chews you out over something inconsequential, and hours later on the drive home, you find yourself replaying her comments over and over again.’
    chew something up
    • Damage or destroy something as if by chewing.

      ‘the bikes were chewing up the paths’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The land has been chewed up and the archaeology has been turned over - it's quite frightening.’
      • ‘The payroll won't be as flexible as it might appear; approximately two-thirds of the $25 million savings will be chewed up by salary escalations and arbitration increases.’
      • ‘The transmission was another matter: There were fragments of metal in the gearbox where some of the gears had been chewed up.’
      • ‘The only difference was that the kelp-beds had been chewed up by molds and scavengers.’
      • ‘Seniors will be more concerned than ever about Social Security as the economy softens, the surplus is chewed up, deficit spending returns and the demagogues start distorting the issue.’
      • ‘Also, the outfield is chewed up, so when an outfielder charges for a hit, he can't go full-speed because the grass is not smooth and the ball might hop over his glove.’
      • ‘The problems were highlighted when 50 wheelie bins in Stewartby had to be removed after a malfunctioning council-owned dust cart chewed them up.’

Origin

Old English cēowan, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch kauwen and German kauen.

Pronunciation

chew

/tʃuː/