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Definition yew


From Middle English ew, from Old English īw, ēow, from Proto-Germanic *īwaz, *īhwaz (compare Icelandic ýr), masculine variant of *īwō (compare Dutch ijf, German Eibe), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eyHweh₂ (compare Hittite [script needed] (eja, “type of evergreen”), Welsh yw (“yews”), Latgalian īva (“bird cherry”), Lithuanian ievà (“bird cherry”), Russian и́ва (íva, “willow”)).


yew (countable and uncountable, plural yews)

  1. (countable) A species of coniferous tree, Taxus baccata, with dark-green flat needle-like leaves and seeds bearing red arils, native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia.
  2. (countable, by extension) Any tree or shrub of the genus Taxus.
  3. Other conifers resembling plants in genus Taxus
    1. in family Podocarpaceae
    2. in family Cephalotaxaceae
  4. (uncountable) The wood of the such trees.
  5. A bow for archery, made of yew wood.


yew (not comparable)

  1. Made from the wood of the yew tree.

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