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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hew \Hew\ (h[=u]), v. t. [imp. Hewed (h[=u]d); p. p. Hewed or Hewn (h[=u]n); p. pr. & vb. n. Hewing.] [AS. he['a]wan; akin to D. houwen, OHG. houwan, G. hauen, Icel. h["o]ggva, Sw. hugga, Dan. hugge, Lith. kova battle, Russ. kovate to hammer, forge. Cf. Hay cut grass, Hoe.]

  1. To cut with an ax; to fell with a sharp instrument; -- often with down, or off.

  2. To form or shape with a sharp instrument; to cut; hence, to form laboriously; -- often with out; as, to hew out a sepulcher.

    Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.
    --Is. li. 1.

    Rather polishing old works than hewing out new.

  3. To cut in pieces; to chop; to hack.

    Hew them to pieces; hack their bones asunder.


Hewn \Hewn\, a.

  1. Felled, cut, or shaped as with an ax; roughly squared; as, a house built of hewn logs.

  2. Roughly dressed as with a hammer; as, hewn stone.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

strong past participle of hew.

  1. 1 Made or crafted by cutting, whittling down. 2 Of something that has been cut or mowed down. v

  2. (past participle of hew English)


See hew

  1. adj. cut down with an ax; "a hewn oak"

  2. cut or shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting instrument like an ax or chisel; "a house built of hewn logs"; "rough-hewn stone"; "a path hewn through the underbrush" [syn: hand-hewn]

  1. v. make or shape as with an axe; "hew out a path in the rock" [syn: hew out]

  2. strike with an axe; cut down, strike; "hew an oak"

  3. [also: hewn]

Usage examples of "hewn".

This we followed for about five paces, when it suddenly widened out into a small chamber, about eight feet square, and hewn out of the living rock.

On each side of this particular rock-chamber was a long and solid stone table, about three feet wide by three feet six in height, hewn out of the living rock, of which it had formed part, and was still attached to at the base.

But on the other hand they were as broad as they were high, built entirely of dressed stone, hewn, no doubt, from the vast caves, and surrounded by a great moat about sixty feet in width, some reaches of which were still filled with water.

He could ride for miles, breathing deep the smell of sweat, pitch, and hewn wood, before glimpsing the end of them.

He went ahead down the passage, was deaf to the order from Kono to open the rough door at the end, had it opened for him by the guard while the pistol pressed into his spine, and walked forward into a bizarre room of roughly hewn stone that was very hot and stank disgustingly of sulphur.

His hairline began only a centimetre or so above his eyebrows: long black hair laquered back over the roughly hewn boulder that was his scalp.

The maypole was hewn from old English oak and would never snap of its own accord.

He stared up at the ceiling, originally hewn from the end of a deep subway tunnel but now embellished with papier mache stalactites.

Climbing the makeshift step stool, I molded the plastique into depressions in the roughly hewn rock directly above each of the elevator openings.

It was hewn too rawly from the forest, it sat too awkwardly on the shores of the lake.

Leaning forward over the free-form table hewn from a single crystal of pale green sphene, he handed it to his host.

Here a party of passing Mamelucos fell into an ambuscade, and were hewn in pieces, presumably before the Lord.

But when will their misnamed liberty have its true emblem in that Stump, hewn down by British steel?

At last, however, the panthan had hewn an opening through which his body could pass, and seizing a long-sword that he had brought close to the door for the purpose he crawled through into the next room.

His face had a hewn masculinity to it, planar and strong, and nothing detracted from the way he looked in her eyes, not even the soot on his face and the water dripping from his hair.