Definition of thew in US English:



  • 1Muscular strength.

    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1thews Muscles and tendons perceived as generating physical strength.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ham gives the bird to his father and then plays on his harp, which is ‘made of the thews of rams’.’
      • ‘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.’


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