1. noun /kluː/
a) A ball of thread or yarn.

on one side of her lay a pair of carpet slippers and on the other a ball of red wool, the leading filament of which she would tug at every now and then with the immemorial elbow jerk of a Zemblan knitter to give a turn to her yarn clew and slacken the thread.

b) Yarn or thread as used to guide ones way through a maze or labyrinth; a guide, a clue.

To this horrible mystery there is not as yet, we believe, the slightest clew.

2. verb /kluː/
a) to roll into a ball
b) (transitive and intransitive) to raise the lower corner(s) of (a sail)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clew — (kl[=u]), Clue Clue, n. [OE. clewe, clowe, clue, AS. cleowen, cliwen, clywe ball of thread; akin to D. kluwen, OHG. chliwa, chliuwa, G. dim. kleuel, kn[ a]uel, and perch. to L. gluma hull, husk, Skr. glaus sort of ball or tumor. Perch. akin to E …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clew — Clew, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Clewed} p. pr. & vb. n. {Clewing}.] [Cf. D. kluwenen. See {Clew}, n.] 1. To direct; to guide, as by a thread. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Direct and clew me out the way to happiness. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] 2. (Naut.) To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clew — or clue [klo͞o] n. [ME cleue < OE cliwen, akin to Du klüwen & dissimilated Ger knäuel < IE base * gel : see CLAW] 1. a ball of thread or yarn: in Greek legend, a thread is used by Theseus as a guide out of the labyrinth 2. archaic sp. of… …   English World dictionary

  • clew up — 1. To draw up the lower edges of a square sail ready for furling (nautical) 2. To tie up loose ends (figurative) • • • Main Entry: ↑clew …   Useful english dictionary

  • Clew — Clew, Bai an der Westküste der Grafschaft Mayo in der irischen Provinz Connaught, darin über 300 kleine Inseln u. Klippen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • clew — index catchword Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • clew — (n.) ball of thread or yarn, northern English and Scottish relic of O.E. cliewen sphere, ball, skein, probably from W.Gmc. *kleuwin (Cf. O.S. cleuwin, Du. kluwen), from P.Gmc. *kliwjo , from I.E. *gleu gather into a mass, conglomerate (see CLAY… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Clew — A trade term for a ball of yarn …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • clew — see clue …   Modern English usage

  • clew — /klooh/, n. 1. clue (def. 1). 2. Naut. either lower corner of a square sail or the after lower corner of a fore and aft sail. See diag. under sail. 3. a ball or skein of thread, yarn, etc. 4. Usually, clews. the rigging for a hammock. 5. Theat. a …   Universalium

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