Definition of hewer in US English:



  • 1A person who cuts wood, stone, or other materials.

    • ‘Cantor described himself as ‘a hewer of timber who with a big axe and with powerful strokes roughly cut the timber to proper form and dimension’.’
    • ‘The hewers of wood have long claimed that slaughtering forests is good for the environment.’
    • ‘It took 70,000 burden bearers, 80,000 stone hewers, 3,300 officers, and a forced levy of 30,000 subjects 13 years to finish.’
    1. 1.1 A miner who cuts coal from a seam.
      • ‘The only exception was the 1858-1859 time book which contained details on individual hewers ' productivity in terms of tubs mined, forward progress, and mine location.’
      • ‘There was Bobby's birth certificate (born February 24, 1915, to father Robert, a ‘coal hewer’).’
      • ‘We also know that On the Origin of Species was tackled by a miner, a grocer, and a coal hewer; and that both volumes of Macaulay's History of England were checked out to an engine driver.’


  • hewers of wood and drawers of water

    • dated Menial drudges; laborers.

      • ‘Through these outstanding results, our learners are sending a loud and clear message that they refuse to become permanent drawers of water and hewers of wood as the architects of apartheid education had designed.’
      • ‘The attitude of the apartheid regime towards ‘Bantu’ education was that these people were going to be drawers of water and hewers of wood and needed little mathematics.’’
      • ‘As Brownlow put it, ‘We can never live in a Southern Confederacy, and be made hewers of wood and drawers of water for a set of aristocrats ‘- an appropriate role for slaves but not for free men.’’
      • ‘Davies's workers are strong in arm and weak in brain - perpetual hewers of wood and drawers of water who cannot aspire to any higher intellectual, cultural or political activities.’
      • ‘Instead of insisting on manufacturing the raw materials here, ‘we are being pushed back into the role of hewers of wood and drawers of water’.’
      servant, domestic servant, domestic, drudge, maid of all work
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