- the tiny, high-pitched sound a cat or kitten makes.
- the characteristic sound a gull makes.
verb (used without object)
- to make a mew or emit a similar sound.
- a small gull, Larus canus, of Eurasia and northwestern North America.
- a cage for hawks, especially while molting.
- a pen in which poultry is fattened.
- a place of retirement or concealment.
- mews, (usually used with a singular verb) Chiefly British.
- (formerly) an area of stables built around a small street.
- a street having small apartments converted from such stables.
verb (used with object)
- Archaic. to shut up in or as in a mew; confine; conceal (often followed by up).
verb (used with or without object)
- to shed (feathers); to molt.
- (intr) (esp of a cat) to make a characteristic high-pitched cry
- such a sound
- any seagull, esp the common gull, Larus canusAlso called: mew gull, sea mew
- a room or cage for hawks, esp while moulting
- (tr often foll by up) to confine (hawks or falcons) in a shelter, cage, etc, usually by tethering them to a perch
- to confine, conceal
- (intr) (of hawks or falcons) to moult
- (tr) obsolete to shed (one’s covering, clothes, etc)
v.“make a sound like a cat,” early 14c., mewen, of imitative origin (cf. German miauen, French miauler, Italian miagolare, Spanish maullar, and see meow). Related: Mewed; mewing. As a noun from 1590s. n.1“seagull,” Old English mæw, from Proto-Germanic *maigwis (cf. Old Saxon mew, Frisian meau, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German mewe, Dutch meeuw “gull”), imitative of its cry. Old French moue (Modern French mouette) and Lithuanian mevas are Germanic loan-words. n.2“cage,” c.1300, from Old French mue “cage for hawks, especially when molting,” from muer “to molt,” from Latin mutare “to change” (see mutable).