- any of a genus (Taxus) of evergreen shrubs and trees of the yew family, having red, cuplike, waxy cones containing a single seed, broad, flattened leaves that are needles, and fine-grained, elastic wood
- the wood, used esp. for making archers' bows
- Archaic an archer's bow of yew
Origin of yewMiddle English ew ; from Old English iw, eow, akin to German eibe (OHG iwa) ; from Indo-European an unverified form (e)iw?- ; from base an unverified form ei-, reddish from source Classical Latin uva, grape: origin, originally name because of color of the wood
- Any of several poisonous evergreen coniferous trees or shrubs of the genus Taxus, having scarlet cup-shaped arils and flat needles that are dark green above and yellowish below. Yews contain compounds used in medicine and are often grown as ornamentals.
- The wood of any of these trees, especially the durable, fine-grained wood of the Eurasian and North African species Taxus baccata, used in cabinetmaking and for archery bows.
Origin of yewMiddle English, from Old English &imacron;w.
(countable and uncountable, plural yews)
- (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.
- (countable, by extension) Any tree or shrub of the genus Taxus.
- (uncountable) The wood of the yew.
- A bow for archery, made of yew wood.
- Made from the wood of the yew tree.
From Middle English ew, from Old English Ä«w, Ä“ow, from Proto-Germanic *Ä«waz, *Ä«hwaz (compare Icelandic Ã½r), masculine variant of *Ä«wÅ (compare Dutch ijf, German Eibe), from Proto-Indo-European *hâ‚eiH-uÌ¯ehâ‚‚ (compare Hittite [script?] (eja, “type of evergreen"), Welsh yw (“yews"), Lithuanian ievÃ (“bird cherry"), Russian Ð¸Ð²Ð° (Ãva, “willow")).