Main definitions of mew in English

: mew1mew2

mew1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • (of a cat or gull) make a characteristic high-pitched crying noise.

    ‘cats mewing to be fed’
    ‘he heard mewing somewhere near the house’
    • ‘A lone cat mewed, and hid in the only home it would find in this section of town; a trash can.’
    • ‘But then I go home and my kitten comes running out mewing and overwhelming my ankles with fuzzy friction until I pick it up.’
    • ‘Her fluffy white cat mewed and jumped onto the table.’
    • ‘Suddenly, I was back on the couch, a black cat was sitting on my chest mewing loudly; I was completely paralyzed and I couldn't speak.’
    • ‘The cat mewed again and immediately dropped down onto the sidewalk in front of the café's door for another roll-around.’
    • ‘Walking into the living-room, my eyes scanned every item for clues, while the cat prowled through my legs and mewed in an effort to grab my attention.’
    • ‘And then suddenly, he was gone, the kitten mewing on my bed, looking slightly annoyed.’
    • ‘Gradually he opened his eyes and the cat mewed before jumping down and shaking its head drowsily.’
    • ‘The old surveillance cat mewed pitifully on the way.’
    • ‘That's because a cat began mewing from an alley nearby.’
    • ‘As I'm pausing to take a few photographs of the black cat, I hear mewing and jingling and here's this second cat, climbing the front steps and posing with an attitude of ownership.’
    • ‘The next house had a collection of pickaninny dolls on shelves running the length of the living room, and a plump orange cat that blinked and mewed inquisitively as he passed.’
    • ‘Luke is behind her with a cat rubbing his legs, mewing for food.’
    • ‘The kitten followed me, mewing at my heels, rubbing up against my ankles when I stopped in the doorway.’
    • ‘A cat mewed, a baby cried, and something heavy fell and shattered.’
    • ‘Her cat mewed at her anxiously and snarled at Cameron, who snarled right back.’
    • ‘When I found her as a kitten, she was sitting in a ditch mewing.’
    • ‘An orange tabby cat poked its head out of the grass and mewed.’
    • ‘Rubbing against the woman's arm, the cat mewed impatiently.’
    • ‘The baby was found at 3am by a Spanish holidaymaker who thought he had heard a cat mewing.’
    miaow, meow, mewl, yowl, cry
    cry, screech, squawk
    miaowing, meowing, mewling, yowling
    cry, crying, screech, screeching, squawking
    View synonyms

noun

  • The high-pitched cry of a cat or gull.

    ‘a kitten's mew’
    • ‘Its call is a soft mew that could be mistaken for a cat in distress.’
    • ‘It sounded like a faint mew of a kitten, but I wasn't really sure.’
    • ‘The cat got off him and gave a little mew like a child guilty of stealing cookies.’
    • ‘The kitten gave her a quizzical look but did not let out a mew.’
    • ‘I smiled softly and turned onto my back, remembering that Hope had been there only when she gave an annoyed mew and jumped off.’
    • ‘The mystery at its heart is never very gripping, and the final twist seems both unnecessary and tame - a kitten's mew instead of a tiger's snarl.’
    • ‘The mew of a hungry cat drifts pitifully from the nearby fish stall.’
    • ‘She grabbed him by the ankle, and he let out a small mew, jerked, and might have broken free if she had not tightened her grasp.’
    • ‘The kitten in turn nibbled on my finger and looked at me with its striking blue eyes and gave a tiny mew.’
    • ‘He responded with a friendly mew and then returned to his purring.’
    • ‘Looking over Brie's shoulder she let out a mew of disgust.’
    • ‘Drake gave a mew, he was not to be forgotten here.’
    • ‘As she walked, she heard a fleeting mew from Ruby, who seemed to be getting anxious.’
    • ‘He's big now, but he has a faint purr, a tiny kitten peeping mew.’
    • ‘His answer was a soft mew from Fluffy, the cat at his feet.’
    • ‘Alana's mother placed it on Alana's lap and Alana thought she heard a small mew.’
    • ‘A mew broke into Grace's thoughts, and she blinked down at the small kitten, who was attempting to make off with her fishnets.’
    • ‘Then I heard the red-head chattering and the plaintive mew of the sapsucker.’
    • ‘There was a high-pitched mew, and one of the kitten's paws slashed up against the girl's right hand.’
    • ‘A mew made me look sharply at him, and he laughed as the kitten peeked from the cargo pocket on his left pant leg.’

Origin

Middle English: imitative.

Pronunciation

mew

/mjuː/

Main definitions of mew in English

: mew1mew2

mew2

noun

usually mews
  • A cage or building for trained hawks, especially while they are moulting.

    • ‘We do not have an outdoor mew to accommodate this size of bird and it's too cold outside for the condor now anyway.’
    • ‘Bobby hoisted his one-year-old son, Aidan, into a backpack and went to transfer two pet hawks from their outdoor weathering perch to an indoor mews.’
    • ‘It was quieter here, and more orderly, with falcon mews and kennels for the Baron's hunting dogs ranged against the wall.’

verb

  • 1no object (of a trained hawk) moult.

    ‘the eyasses clung dully to their leashes as if they were mewing’
    • ‘The word itself derives from the royal stables at Charing Cross in London built on the site where the royal hawks were once moulted or mewed.’
    cry, screech, squawk
    View synonyms
  • 2with object Confine (a trained hawk) to a cage or building while moulting.

    ‘Raoul orders his tent to be pitched and his hawks to be mewed’
    1. 2.1 Confine (someone) in a restricting place or situation.
      ‘he was mewed up in close low stuffy rooms’
      • ‘We are also asked to believe that, out of shame at his daughter's disability, he mewed her and her late mother up in ever smaller, tighter rooms.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French mue, from muer ‘to moult’, from Latin mutare ‘to change’.

Pronunciation

mew

/mjuː/