Definition of hewer in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhyo͞oər/ /ˈhjuər/


  • 1dated A person who cuts wood, stone, or other materials.

    ‘The hewers of wood have long claimed that slaughtering forests is good for the environment.’
    • ‘It took 70,000 burden bearers, 80,000 stone hewers, 3,300 officers, and a forced levy of 30,000 subjects 13 years to finish.’
    • ‘Cantor described himself as ‘a hewer of timber who with a big axe and with powerful strokes roughly cut the timber to proper form and dimension’.’
    1. 1.1A miner who cuts coal from a seam.
      ‘We also know that On the Origin of Species was tackled by a miner, a grocer, and a coal hewer; and that both volumes of Macaulay's History of England were checked out to an engine driver.’
      • ‘There was Bobby's birth certificate (born February 24, 1915, to father Robert, a ‘coal hewer’).’
      • ‘The only exception was the 1858-1859 time book which contained details on individual hewers ' productivity in terms of tubs mined, forward progress, and mine location.’


    hewers of wood and drawers of water
    • Menial drudges; laborers.

      ‘Instead of insisting on manufacturing the raw materials here, ‘we are being pushed back into the role of hewers of wood and drawers of water’.’
      • ‘As Brownlow put it, ‘We can never live in a Southern Confederacy, and be made hewers of wood and drawers of water for a set of aristocrats ‘- an appropriate role for slaves but not for free men.’’
      • ‘Davies's workers are strong in arm and weak in brain - perpetual hewers of wood and drawers of water who cannot aspire to any higher intellectual, cultural or political activities.’
      • ‘Through these outstanding results, our learners are sending a loud and clear message that they refuse to become permanent drawers of water and hewers of wood as the architects of apartheid education had designed.’
      • ‘The attitude of the apartheid regime towards ‘Bantu’ education was that these people were going to be drawers of water and hewers of wood and needed little mathematics.’’