I. noun Etymology: Middle English clewe, from Old English cliewen; akin to Old High German kliuwa ball, Sanskrit glauḥ lump Date: before 12th century 1. a ball of thread, yarn, or cord 2. clue 1 3. a. a lower corner or only the after corner of a sail b. a metal loop attached to the lower corner of a sail c. plural a combination of lines by which a hammock is suspended II. transitive verb Date: 15th century 1. to roll into a ball 2. clue 3. to haul (a sail) up or down by ropes through the clews

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clew — (kl[=u]), Clue Clue, n. [OE. clewe, clowe, clue, AS. cleowen, cliwen, clywe ball of thread; akin to D. kluwen, OHG. chliwa, chliuwa, G. dim. kleuel, kn[ a]uel, and perch. to L. gluma hull, husk, Skr. glaus sort of ball or tumor. Perch. akin to E …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clew — Clew, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Clewed} p. pr. & vb. n. {Clewing}.] [Cf. D. kluwenen. See {Clew}, n.] 1. To direct; to guide, as by a thread. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Direct and clew me out the way to happiness. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] 2. (Naut.) To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clew — or clue [klo͞o] n. [ME cleue < OE cliwen, akin to Du klüwen & dissimilated Ger knäuel < IE base * gel : see CLAW] 1. a ball of thread or yarn: in Greek legend, a thread is used by Theseus as a guide out of the labyrinth 2. archaic sp. of… …   English World dictionary

  • Clew — Clew, Bai an der Westküste der Grafschaft Mayo in der irischen Provinz Connaught, darin über 300 kleine Inseln u. Klippen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • clew — index catchword Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • clew — (n.) ball of thread or yarn, northern English and Scottish relic of O.E. cliewen sphere, ball, skein, probably from W.Gmc. *kleuwin (Cf. O.S. cleuwin, Du. kluwen), from P.Gmc. *kliwjo , from I.E. *gleu gather into a mass, conglomerate (see CLAY… …   Etymology dictionary

  • clew — see clue …   Modern English usage

  • clew — /klooh/, n. 1. clue (def. 1). 2. Naut. either lower corner of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore and aft sail. See diag. under sail. 3. a ball or skein of thread, yarn, etc. 4. Usually, clews. the rigging for a hammock. 5. Theat. a …   Universalium

  • clew — 1. noun /kluː/ a) A ball of thread or yarn. on one side of her lay a pair of carpet slippers and on the other a ball of red wool, the leading filament of which she would tug at every now and then with the immemorial elbow jerk of a Zemblan… …   Wiktionary

  • Clew — This unusual name is of Anglo Saxon origin, and is a peculiarly Devonshire variant of the topographical surname found elsewhere in England as Clough . The surname denoted someone who lived near a precipitous slope, in a ravine or steep sided… …   Surnames reference

  • clew — /klu/ (say klooh) noun 1. a ball or skein of thread, yarn, etc. 2. Obsolete a clue. 3. (plural or singular) the rigging for a hammock. 4. Nautical either lower corner of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore and aft sail. –verb (t) 5 …   Australian English dictionary

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