Main definitions of mew in US English:

: mew1mew2

mew1

verb

[no object]
  • (of a cat or some kinds of bird) make a characteristic high-pitched crying noise.

    ‘a throng of cats and kittens mewing to be fed’
    • ‘Rubbing against the woman's arm, the cat mewed impatiently.’
    • ‘Luke is behind her with a cat rubbing his legs, mewing for food.’
    • ‘The cat mewed again and immediately dropped down onto the sidewalk in front of the café's door for another roll-around.’
    • ‘Her fluffy white cat mewed and jumped onto the table.’
    • ‘The old surveillance cat mewed pitifully on the way.’
    • ‘The baby was found at 3am by a Spanish holidaymaker who thought he had heard a cat mewing.’
    • ‘That's because a cat began mewing from an alley nearby.’
    • ‘Gradually he opened his eyes and the cat mewed before jumping down and shaking its head drowsily.’
    • ‘Her cat mewed at her anxiously and snarled at Cameron, who snarled right back.’
    • ‘But then I go home and my kitten comes running out mewing and overwhelming my ankles with fuzzy friction until I pick it up.’
    • ‘An orange tabby cat poked its head out of the grass and mewed.’
    • ‘A lone cat mewed, and hid in the only home it would find in this section of town; a trash can.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I found her as a kitten, she was sitting in a ditch mewing.’
    • ‘A cat mewed, a baby cried, and something heavy fell and shattered.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The kitten followed me, mewing at my heels, rubbing up against my ankles when I stopped in the doorway.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And then suddenly, he was gone, the kitten mewing on my bed, looking slightly annoyed.’
    miaow, meow, mewl, yowl, cry
    cry, screech, squawk
    miaowing, meowing, mewling, yowling
    cry, crying, screech, screeching, squawking
    View synonyms

noun

  • The high-pitched crying noise made by a cat or bird.

    ‘a kitten's 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.’
    • ‘There was a high-pitched mew, and one of the kitten's paws slashed up against the girl's right hand.’
    • ‘The kitten in turn nibbled on my finger and looked at me with its striking blue eyes and gave a tiny mew.’
    • ‘The cat got off him and gave a little mew like a child guilty of stealing cookies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's big now, but he has a faint purr, a tiny kitten peeping mew.’
    • ‘The mew of a hungry cat drifts pitifully from the nearby fish stall.’
    • ‘Drake gave a mew, he was not to be forgotten here.’
    • ‘He responded with a friendly mew and then returned to his purring.’
    • ‘A mew made me look sharply at him, and he laughed as the kitten peeked from the cargo pocket on his left pant leg.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Looking over Brie's shoulder she let out a mew of disgust.’
    • ‘His answer was a soft mew from Fluffy, the cat at his feet.’
    • ‘As she walked, she heard a fleeting mew from Ruby, who seemed to be getting anxious.’
    • ‘The kitten gave her a quizzical look but did not let out a mew.’
    • ‘It sounded like a faint mew of a kitten, but I wasn't really sure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its call is a soft mew that could be mistaken for a cat in distress.’
    • ‘Then I heard the red-head chattering and the plaintive mew of the sapsucker.’

Origin

Middle English: imitative.

Pronunciation

mew

/myo͞o//mju/

Main definitions of mew in US English:

: mew1mew2

mew2

noun

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We do not have an outdoor mew to accommodate this size of bird and it's too cold outside for the condor now anyway.’

verb

Falconry
  • 1no object (of a trained hawk) molt.

    • ‘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 at the time of molting.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

mew

/mju//myo͞o/