AskDefine | Define yew

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yew \Yew\ ([=u]), a. Of or pertaining to yew trees; made of the wood of a yew tree; as, a yew whipstock. [1913 Webster]
Yew \Yew\ ([=u]), v. i. See Yaw. [1913 Webster]
Yew \Yew\, n. [OE. ew, AS. e['o]w, [imac]w, eoh; akin to D. ijf, OHG. [imac]wa, [imac]ha, G. eibe, Icel. [=y]r; cf. Ir. iubhar, Gael. iubhar, iughar, W. yw, ywen, Lith. j["e]va the black alder tree.] [1913 Webster]
(Bot.) An evergreen tree (Taxus baccata) of Europe, allied to the pines, but having a peculiar berrylike fruit instead of a cone. It frequently grows in British churchyards. [1913 Webster]
The wood of the yew. It is light red in color, compact, fine-grained, and very elastic. It is preferred to all other kinds of wood for bows and whipstocks, the best for these purposes coming from Spain. [1913 Webster] Note: The American yew (Taxus baccata, var. Canadensis) is a low and straggling or prostrate bush, never forming an erect trunk. The California yew (Taxus brevifolia, also called Pacific yew) is a good-sized tree, and its wood is used for bows, spear handles, paddles, and other similar implements; the anticancer agent taxol is obtained from its bark. Another yew is found in Florida, and there are species in Japan and the Himalayas. [1913 Webster + PJC]
A bow for shooting, made of the yew. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 wood of a yew; especially the durable fine-grained light brown or red wood of the English yew valued for cabinetwork and archery bows
2 any of numerous evergreen trees or shrubs having red cup-shaped berries and flattened needlelike leaves



  • , /juː/, /ju:/
    Rhymes with: -uː





  1. A tree or shrub of the genus Taxus, with dark-green flat needle like leaves and seeds bearing red arils.
  2. The wood of the yew.



tree or shrub
  • Czech: tis
  • Danish: taks , takstræ
  • Finnish: marjakuusi
  • Hungarian: tiszafa
  • Japanese: イチイ, 櫟
  • Russian: тис
  • Spanish: tejo
  • Swedish: idegran
wood of the yew
  • Danish: takstræ
  • Finnish: marjakuusi
  • Hungarian: tiszafa
  • Japanese: イチイ, 櫟
  • Russian: тис
  • Spanish: tejo
  • Swedish: idegran , idegransträ


  1. Made from the wood of the yew tree.


made from the wood of the yew tree

See also

Yew may refer to:


Specific trees

Place names

Fictional place names

  • Yew Dales, the home of Ull the winter god in Norse mythology
  • Yew, a city-state in the fictional Ultima universe



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