Main definitions of stew in English

: stew1stew2stew3

stew1

noun

  • 1mass noun A dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a closed dish or pan.

    ‘lamb stew’
    count noun ‘add to casseroles, stews, and sauces’
    • ‘I saw her glance at the fire and the pot of stew simmering on the hearth.’
    • ‘They complement the flavor of everything from sauces to hearty stews.’
    • ‘My partner chose baked peppers and a veal stew with mashed potatoes.’
    • ‘Later, they ate his famous cattle meat stew.’
    • ‘There was a silence as he served the stew from the small iron pot.’
    • ‘The girl took her spoon in one hand and greedily ate the steaming stew.’
    • ‘Before long they had some potatoes, some old bread, and a hearty stew before them.’
    • ‘He lifted up the lid of the pot where lamb stew was simmering.’
    • ‘My mother remembers the cast-iron pot on the range filled with warming rabbit stew.’
    • ‘I answered obediently and went to the fire to stir the thick stew inside the cauldron.’
    • ‘She began to ladle the stew onto the plates as her companion released her from his grasp.’
    • ‘His thoughts were interrupted by more stew being served into his almost empty bowl.’
    • ‘Serve this thick stew with hot cooked basmati rice.’
    • ‘Meat stews are often cooked with fruits such as quince.’
    • ‘Other dishes include mutton stew with island vegetables, and pumpkin soup.’
    • ‘Hearty stews or soups can be served in whole baked pumpkins.’
    • ‘They cooked a thick stew for dinner and had mulled cider.’
    • ‘There wasn't much to eat, so we made do with rabbit stew.’
    • ‘A large bowl of mutton stew with some large wedges of bread satisfied this last need.’
    • ‘To serve, stir in half the coriander and ladle the stew into large warmed soup bowls.’
    casserole
    View synonyms
  • 2informal in singular A state of great anxiety or agitation.

    ‘she's in a right old stew’
    • ‘When the government gets into a stew, it is the first role of an opposition to turn up the heat.’
    • ‘Hadn't they gotten in a stew with her over him in the first place because of that?’
    • ‘Consider all the people who sat home in a stew in 1968 rather than vote for Hubert Humphrey.’
    • ‘There are many people around here who think that the whole of this country is in a stew.’
    • ‘No wonder they're in a stew - we keep occupying their territory.’
    agitated, anxious, in a state of nerves, nervous, in a state of agitation, in a panic, worked up, keyed up, overwrought, wrought up, flustered, flurried, in a pother
    View synonyms
  • 3archaic A heated public room used for steam baths.

    1. 3.1 A brothel.
      ‘the stews of Southwark’

verb

  • 1(with reference to meat, fruit, or other food) cook or be cooked slowly in liquid in a closed dish or pan.

    with object ‘beef stewed in wine’
    • ‘I diced an apple and mixed it with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a saucepan, and stewed it for awhile.’
    • ‘Shrimp can be found fried, broiled, baked, and stewed.’
    • ‘I employed Lydia's help to cut and stew some apples for dessert.’
    • ‘The legs are salted to pull out excess moisture, then stewed slowly in more duck fat flavoured with herbs.’
    • ‘The shark's fin was first stewed for hours in sugar water.’
    • ‘The meat was stewed (much like roast beef) and seasoned with a slightly spicy gravy.’
    • ‘These were stewed slowly with spices and beans.’
    • ‘The chef swore that he did not add gourmet powder to the soup when we asked how he maintained such tasty flavors after stewing the dish on a fire for at least four hours.’
    • ‘They didn't cook boiled cabbage, nor did they stew vegetables.’
    • ‘It is made using only beef or lamb bones, which are stewed for over 20 hours.’
    • ‘Simply blended with onion, herbs and salt, the lentils had been stewed until liquid.’
    • ‘Fresh seafood was stewed in the juice of spices and dressed with lemon juice and vinegar.’
    • ‘The beef has been sufficiently stewed to soften its collagen, making it delectably chewable.’
    • ‘They are very versatile in cooking and can be baked, stewed or microwaved.’
    • ‘Good lotus root soup is stewed for hours and has a light pink colour.’
    • ‘They can be used in spring salads; and their sweetness can be used to remove sourness from food, particularly fruit, so it is useful to add some when stewing rhubarb or gooseberries.’
    • ‘Braising, steaming, poaching, stewing, and microwaving meats minimize the production of these chemicals.’
    braise, casserole, fricassee, simmer, boil
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    1. 1.1British no object (of tea) become strong and bitter with prolonged brewing.
      • ‘The bar attendant lady hesitated not for one second and cheerfully confided that her brew had been stewing for three hours.’
    2. 1.2be stewed inliterary Be steeped in or imbued with.
      ‘politics there are stewed in sexual prejudice and privilege’
  • 2informal no object Remain in a heated or stifling atmosphere.

    ‘sweaty clothes left to stew in a plastic bag’
    swelter, be very hot, perspire, sweat
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Worry about something, especially on one's own.
      ‘James will be expecting us, so we will let him stew a bit’
      • ‘I have quite a bit more to say on this, but I'm gonna let you guys stew for a bit before I continue.’
      • ‘M.L. told one of my favorite stories about herself, of the night when she, pregnant with her third child, stewed and fretted about the Cuban Missile Crisis.’
      • ‘I packed and did laundry and stewed and fussed and worried until 1 a.m. but I think we're back on track.’
      worry, fret, agonize, be anxious, be nervous, be agitated, get in a panic, get worked up, get in a fluster, get overwrought
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • stew in one's own juice

    • informal Be left to suffer the consequences of one's own actions.

      • ‘So, for the most part I just sit in traffic stewing in my own juices.’
      • ‘Our NATO allies, Brits and Poles excepted, have left us to stew in our own juice.’
      • ‘Or you could look elsewhere and leave Leeds to stew in their own juices.’
      • ‘They are currently stewing in their own juices in prison.’
      • ‘In its original form no help was to be offered, and a deindustrialized Germany was to be left, as one official history comments, ‘to stew in her own juice for a long time’.’
      • ‘I'm even staying in Wil's room, but until you can get your mind out of the gutter and ask me for the whole story, you can just stew in your own juice.’
      • ‘So most people would be better off to save their money and leave the Leftist college teachers to stew in their own juice.’
      • ‘I sat in the cafeteria for a little while longer, stewing in my juices and trying to concoct a way to wreak revenge on Robb.’
      • ‘Yet, it has to be admitted, on perusing the reports from around the world, that many governments feel little commitment to media freedom - if anything, the opposite - and are more than content to let journalists stew in their own juice.’
      • ‘Thinking things through by writing about them, venting about things that anger or upset me, stewing in my own juices until I am ready to move on is what I do.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘cauldron’): from Old French estuve (related to estuver ‘heat in steam’), probably based on Greek tuphos ‘smoke, steam’. stew (sense 1 of the noun) (mid 18th century) is directly from the verb (dating from late Middle English).

Pronunciation

stew

/stjuː/

Main definitions of stew in English

: stew1stew2stew3

stew2

noun

British
  • 1A pond or large tank for keeping fish for eating.

    • ‘A tonne of fish is transported from the stews into a system of concrete channels.’
    • ‘On one of my local stew ponds there is an attitude that if it's not into double figures it ain't worth catching.’
    • ‘The quality of the fish is impressive, reared as they are in more sizeable areas than crude stew ponds.’
    1. 1.1 An artificial oyster bed.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French estui, from estoier ‘confine’.

Pronunciation

stew

/stjuː/

Main definitions of stew in English

: stew1stew2stew3

stew3

noun

North American
informal
  • A flight attendant.

    • ‘But I'd be in favor of keeping the present policy of no weapon, period if the stews had access to non-lethal weapons and were trained in their use.’
    • ‘The stews might as well have announced this plane is equipped with fore and aft screaming children.’

Origin

1970s: abbreviation of stewardess.

Pronunciation

stew

/stjuː/