The lower or after corner of a sail.
- ‘A clew of the sail is fixed to the slide allowing the sail to be orientated without a need for a boom.’
- ‘Hullo is a rectangular shaped flat wooden plank seater with its four corners fixed to the roof by means of metal clews which can swing.’
- ‘I started to give the outhaul a good yank to get the foot of the main tight and the damned thing came off in my hand along with a piece of the sail containing the clew.’
- ‘The lower trailing corner 12 of the sail is known as the clew, and typically incorporates an eyelet, or a series of eyelets.’
2The cords by which a hammock is suspended.
- ‘Tie the clew down to the boom using a reef knot.’
- ‘A good but currently illegal idea you can use to keep tension in the outhaul lines is to tie the clew inhaul shockcord between the clew cringle and the block.’
3A ball of thread (used especially with reference to the thread supposedly used by Theseus to mark his way out of the Cretan labyrinth)
- ‘The clever man took a clew of rope and suspended it by the door of entry so that it could serve as a guide to all who entered or came out.’
- ‘A clew of sugán rope or ceirtlin súgán in traditional style was made of bent grass by Peter Shevlin of Belmullet.’
- ‘If we observe this clew of wool from, say a kilometre distance, it is just a spot - zero dimension.’
4archaic variant of clue
- ‘In searching for evidence of the presence of the murderer, not a clew of any kind could be found.’
- ‘To this horrible mystery there is not as yet, we believe, the slightest clew.’
1 Haul up the clews of a sail to the yard or into the mast ready for furling.
- ‘And your Arthur, I mind, was one of the four men to go aloft to clew it up.’
- ‘If you intend to set them again after the topsail is reefed, clew the sail up.’
- ‘It is mostly the way to man the clew-lines and the bunt-lines, ease off the lee-sheet and clew it up.’
- 1.1Lower an upper square sail by hauling down on the clew lines while slacking away on the halyard.
- ‘Then, by these, brace in the yard and clew it down.’
- ‘Sailors clew down and tied the cargo and themselves with ropes to the ship.’
Old English cliwen, cleowen (denoting a rounded mass, also a ball of thread), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kluwen. All senses are also recorded for the form clue.