Main definitions of dew in English

: dew1DEW2

dew1

noun

mass noun
  • 1Tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night, when atmospheric vapour condenses.

    ‘the grass was wet with dew’
    in singular ‘a cold, heavy dew dripped from the leaves’
    • ‘A groundsman yesterday sweeps dew off the lawn at Oakland Hills Country Club, with the Ryder Cup standing at right.’
    • ‘Rain, dew, and condensation from the cooling system produce enough water for a family of four.’
    • ‘Heavy dew in the night time and soaring soil temperatures made farming a pleasure, especially as cattle prices continued to rise.’
    • ‘The first rays of golden light touched the hillside, still wet with dew, each tiny droplet singing out in a rainbow of colors.’
    • ‘We've had some superb windless and cloudless nights recently, which means we've woken up to gardens saturated by heavy dew the next morning.’
    • ‘Most manufacturers recommend that at least two hours be allowed for paint to dry before sunset if cool temperatures and heavy dew are expected that evening.’
    • ‘Rain, heavy dew, and high humidity stimulate preharvest sprouting.’
    • ‘Since it was a dry night, and there wasn't even dew on the grass, the fire spread throughout the yard.’
    • ‘The latter, although presently only at low levels, often develops quickly through June and July during grain-filling period, especially on the wolds where early morning dews can last for several hours.’
    • ‘They catch the night dew for water, we are told, and eat old tins of carrots, left by the company that once mined this spot.’
    • ‘In fact, we used to get up extra early just to capture that dew.’
    • ‘Do not apply insecticides when temperatures are expected to be unusually low following treatment or on nights when heavy dew forms.’
    • ‘It also allows for better air circulation to promote faster fern drying from rain and morning dews.’
    • ‘Cope said that the Panel had accepted that the pitch was dry at the start of the game and they thought it was the length of the grass which had caused it to pick up dampness following rain and heavy dew.’
    • ‘There were dark green cannabis plants dripping with heavy dew dotting the field and the smell of cannabis resin mixed with the aroma of fresh cow dung permeated the morning air.’
    • ‘When our second child was on the way, we purchased a house that was warmer, but sat above a basement that filled with water after every heavy dew.’
    • ‘The only thing standing between them and death is a discovered stash of tinned carrots and the morning dew they collect from the roofs of their ramshackle dwellings.’
    • ‘The average in England this month has been seven millimetres - equivalent to a few heavy dews - and it has been drier in the east than the west.’
    • ‘Long periods of precipitation, sprinkler irrigation to protect plants from freezing, or heavy dews in the spring also favor the disease.’
    • ‘Adults feed on water drops or dew and are short-lived.’
    moisture, damp, humidity, wetness, wet, water, liquid, condensation, steam, vapour, clamminess, mugginess, dankness, wateriness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1in singular A beaded or glistening liquid resembling dew.
      ‘her body had broken out in a fine dew of perspiration’
      • ‘A fine dew of perspiration stood out on her cheeks and forehead.’
      • ‘‘What I'm meaning to say’, she began, the dew of tears rimming her eyes, ‘is that I went to the docks and your Dad wasn't there.’’

verb

[with object]literary
  • Moisten with drops of liquid.

    ‘sweat dewed her lashes’
    • ‘The light rain had long since finished, damping its cold wet tears on the land below, which was dewed with dots of small wet and cold beads.’
    • ‘David came out in a towel around his waist, slightly tan body dewed by the shower that was still running in the background.’
    • ‘His short brown hair was pomaded with a light night rain, his face dewed with little droplets.’
    • ‘This afternoon, my skin dewed with a thin sheen of glistening fresh sweat, something snapped.’
    • ‘Her hair flew along the current of the wind, her long pretty lashes dewed with tears.’
    dampen, wet, damp, water, soak, irrigate, humidify
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English dēaw, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dauw and German Tau (noun), tauen (verb).

Pronunciation

dew

/ˈdjuː/

Main definitions of dew in English

: dew1DEW2

DEW2

  • Distant early warning, a radar system in North America for the early detection of a missile attack.

    as modifier ‘the DEW line’