Definition of thew in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Muscular strength.

    ‘brains and brawn, thought and thew’
    • ‘I trust his thew and his brother's wit.’
    robustness, healthiness, good health, hardiness, strength, stamina, sturdiness, fitness, good shape, good trim, good condition, fine fettle, toughness, ruggedness, muscle, power
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    1. 1.1Muscles and tendons perceived as generating strength.
      ‘she touched his magnificent thews’
      • ‘Renny's claws were embedded in the wiry thews of the jaguar's forearms, streams of blackish blood spilling down his hands as he fought to shred the tendons crushing the life from him.’
      • ‘The thug strove furiously to clamp his meaty paws around the lighter man's neck, but the deceptive strength of the other's rangy thews held him at bay.’
      • ‘Ham gives the bird to his father and then plays on his harp, which is ‘made of the thews of rams’.’
      • ‘Then I realized that any of the the various small stories of treachery and betrayal I had encountered could form the thews and sinews of a mystery novel.’
      • ‘She stood close to seven feet tall, and if she was built on slimmer lines, without her male siblings' massive thews, she was also faster.’


Old English thēaw ‘usage, custom’, (plural) ‘manner of behaving’, of unknown origin. The sense ‘good bodily proportions, muscular development’ arose in Middle English.