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Related to clew: blackboard, sis

clew 1

1. A ball of yarn or thread.
2. Greek Mythology The ball of thread used by Theseus to find his way out of the labyrinth.
3. clews The cords by which a hammock is suspended.
4. also clue Nautical
a. One of the two lower corners of a square sail.
b. The lower aft corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
tr.v. clewed, clew·ing, clews
1. To roll or coil into a ball.
2. also clue Nautical To raise the lower corners of (a square sail) by means of clew lines. Used with up.

[Middle English clewe, from Old English cliwen.]

clew 2

n. & v. Chiefly British
Variant of clue1.


1. a ball of thread, yarn, or twine
2. (Nautical Terms) nautical either of the lower corners of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail
3. (Nautical Terms) (usually plural) the rigging of a hammock
4. a rare variant of clue
(tr) to coil or roll into a ball
[Old English cliewen (vb); related to Old High German kliu ball]



2. either lower corner of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
3. a ball or skein of thread, yarn, etc.
4. Usu., clews. the rigging for a hammock.
5. to coil into a ball.
[before 900; Middle English clewe, Old English cleowen, cliewen=cliew- (c. Old High German kliu ball) + -en -en5]


 a globe, ball, or spherical bunch; a tangled cluster of things; a ball of thread, etc.
Examples: clew of bees, 1616; of cord; of thread; of yarn; of worms, 1669.


Past participle: clewed
Gerund: clewing

I clew
you clew
he/she/it clews
we clew
you clew
they clew
I clewed
you clewed
he/she/it clewed
we clewed
you clewed
they clewed
Present Continuous
I am clewing
you are clewing
he/she/it is clewing
we are clewing
you are clewing
they are clewing
Present Perfect
I have clewed
you have clewed
he/she/it has clewed
we have clewed
you have clewed
they have clewed
Past Continuous
I was clewing
you were clewing
he/she/it was clewing
we were clewing
you were clewing
they were clewing
Past Perfect
I had clewed
you had clewed
he/she/it had clewed
we had clewed
you had clewed
they had clewed
I will clew
you will clew
he/she/it will clew
we will clew
you will clew
they will clew
Future Perfect
I will have clewed
you will have clewed
he/she/it will have clewed
we will have clewed
you will have clewed
they will have clewed
Future Continuous
I will be clewing
you will be clewing
he/she/it will be clewing
we will be clewing
you will be clewing
they will be clewing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been clewing
you have been clewing
he/she/it has been clewing
we have been clewing
you have been clewing
they have been clewing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been clewing
you will have been clewing
he/she/it will have been clewing
we will have been clewing
you will have been clewing
they will have been clewing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been clewing
you had been clewing
he/she/it had been clewing
we had been clewing
you had been clewing
they had been clewing
I would clew
you would clew
he/she/it would clew
we would clew
you would clew
they would clew
Past Conditional
I would have clewed
you would have clewed
he/she/it would have clewed
we would have clewed
you would have clewed
they would have clewed
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.clew - a ball of yarn or cord or thread
chunk, clod, glob, lump, clump, ball - a compact mass; "a ball of mud caught him on the shoulder"
2.clew - evidence that helps to solve a problem
evidence - an indication that makes something evident; "his trembling was evidence of his fear"
sign, mark - a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened); "he showed signs of strain"; "they welcomed the signs of spring"
Verb1.clew - roll into a ball
twine, wrap, wind, roll - arrange or or coil around; "roll your hair around your finger"; "Twine the thread around the spool"; "She wrapped her arms around the child"


(of thread)Knäuel nt
(Naut, of sail) → Schothorn nt; (of hammock)Schlaufe f
(Naut) to clew (up)aufgeien
References in classic literature ?
There is a clew if you ever get the notion of looking me up.
If a rock, or a rivulet, or a bit of earth harder than common, severed the links of the clew they followed, the true eye of the scout recovered them at a distance, and seldom rendered the delay of a single moment necessary.
He believed he had found the clew to his restlessness.
Now, I have the best possible reasons for believing that your brother Clifford can give me a clew to the recovery of the remainder.
ain't it there in his bed, for a clew, after he's gone?
But that the clew to her language and her conduct on Wednesday last is to be found in such a feeling toward the man who has ruined us, as the feeling at which you hinted, is what I can not and will not believe of my sister.
Silas did not highly enjoy smoking, and often wondered how his neighbours could be so fond of it; but a humble sort of acquiescence in what was held to be good, had become a strong habit of that new self which had been developed in him since he had found Eppie on his hearth: it had been the only clew his bewildered mind could hold by in cherishing this young life that had been sent to him out of the darkness into which his gold had departed.
I have therefore let down a rope, by which you will be able to climb up; and as the island is so large that you might not find Hermod's dwelling-place so easily, I lay down this clew beside you.
They had followed immediately behind him, thinking it barely possible that his actions might prove a clew to my whereabouts and had witnessed my short but decisive battle with him.
Then following the clew that, in the hands of the Abbe Faria, had been so skilfully used to guide him through the Daedalian labyrinth of probabilities, he thought that the Cardinal Spada, anxious not to be watched, had entered the creek, concealed his little barque, followed the line marked by the notches in the rock, and at the end of it had buried his treasure.
We'll search Paris all day long," said Athos, "and if we have no news this evening we will return to the road to Picardy; and I feel no doubt that, thanks to D'Artagnan's ready invention, we shall then find some clew which will solve our doubts.
differences between the Indian and the English modes of constructing words; and, having once got a clew to this, he pursued every noun and verb he could think of through all possible variations.