Definition of strew in English:



  • 1 Scatter or spread (things) untidily over a surface or area.

    ‘a small room with newspapers strewn all over the floor’
    • ‘More than 1,500 trees will be planted and concrete bollards will be strewn throughout the area to keep the travellers out.’
    • ‘Wreckage was strewn over a wide area and that, combined with the thick fog, made the task exceptionally difficult.’
    • ‘Her clothes and possessions were strewn around the area.’
    • ‘Unexploded cluster bombs are strewn throughout the area.’
    • ‘A consignment of sugar from one of the bulk-carriers was strewn over a large area.’
    • ‘Damage was caused to the fence and chain, the crosses by the memorial were flattened and litter was strewn around the area.’
    • ‘The dog loves to play in the litter and strew it around the floor.’
    • ‘At others, downed trees littered parent pickup areas and limbs were strewn across student bike racks.’
    • ‘Street lights fail to work, litter is strewn everywhere, vandalism is rife, and adolescents roam the streets aimlessly.’
    • ‘Lithographs by Henry Moore are strewn nonchalantly on the surface of an odds-and-ends box, left as samples for visiting artists to leaf through.’
    • ‘There are more and more scratches to the paintwork and plants from an adjoining flower bed, along with litter, have been strewn over the seats and surrounding area.’
    • ‘Wreckage was strewn across a wide area, indicating that the plane exploded in mid-air.’
    • ‘Hundreds of rescuers worked through the night locating wreckage and bodies, which were strewn across a wide area.’
    • ‘Large amounts of rubbish and litter are strewn about from the entrance by the North Lodge for at least the first 500 yards into the estate and makes this walk an eyesore.’
    • ‘First, he strews dark sand across a white surface, then he draws images with his fingers and when the whole picture is ready he films it.’
    • ‘The wooden fence is vandalised repeatedly and, although the council repairs the damage, for periods of time broken pieces are left strewn across the area.’
    • ‘Debris was strewn throughout the area and the engine and a wing landed in the river.’
    • ‘Traffic was disrupted for several hours to allow firefighters to clear the road of debris which was strewn over a large area.’
    • ‘Litter was strewn around, even though a bin had been provided.’
    • ‘‘We have magnificent countryside but litter is strewn all over the place,’ Roughead said.’
    scatter, spread, disperse, distribute, litter, toss, sprinkle, sow, broadcast
    bestrew, besprinkle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Cover (a surface or area) with untidily scattered things.
      ‘the table was strewn with books and papers’
      [as adjective, in combination] ‘boulder-strewn slopes’
      • ‘His dressing room was strewn with empty caviar jars and champagne bottles.’
      • ‘The church was strewn with bloody hymn books, broken glass and fragments of the red plastic chairs the worshippers had been sitting on.’
      • ‘This year more than ever our environment is litter strewn.’
      • ‘The field was strewn with limp male bodies and randomly scattered detached limbs.’
      • ‘The road-bridge and Victorian pedestrian footbridge are completely neglected and the canal and its verge are litter strewn.’
      • ‘The path all the way up was strewn with litter, dog excrement and branches from trees.’
      • ‘Since it closed, youngsters have covered the building with graffiti, and the site is strewn with litter.’
      • ‘The edges of the water are often strewn with bottles, cans and litter.’
      • ‘The youngsters also light barbecues and leave the area strewn with litter and empty beer cans.’
      • ‘The parking area and the walkway leading towards the lifesavers' building is often strewn with dog litter!’
      • ‘Many beaches are strewn with similar litter, especially at this time of year.’
      • ‘If it is untidy and litter strewn it reflects on all of us.’
      • ‘The area is now strewn with broken bottles and rubbish and the playground equipment is covered in graffiti.’
      • ‘And then he sped away. leaving me alone to ponder why the landscape was strewn with dead animals for as far as the eye could see.’
      • ‘With no litter bins, the platforms were strewn with rubbish.’
      • ‘Bottles have been smashed in the car park, and the area left strewn with litter.’
      • ‘It took her a couple of minutes of fumbling around on her bedside table that was strewn with books to find the small mobile phone.’
      • ‘There is an old derelict caravan on there and it is strewn with litter.’
      • ‘Streams and becks were strewn with tree trunks, branches and litter which would all block the watercourses during heavy rain.’
      • ‘Outside the shining enclaves in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, the landscape is strewn with garbage.’
    2. 1.2Be scattered or spread untidily over (a surface or area)
      ‘leaves strewed the path’
      • ‘Litter strewed the street.’
      • ‘At 6 am one day this summer, a tangle of garments and half-eaten plates of food, which volunteers had doled out the night before, strewed an entire sidewalk block.’
      • ‘Litter strewed the hallway; books and candles lay burnt and melted around the floor.’


Old English stre(o)wian, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch strooien, German streuen, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sternere lay flat.