stew (st, sty)
v. stewed, stew·ing, stews
To cook (food) by simmering or boiling slowly.
1. To undergo cooking by boiling slowly or simmering.
2. Informal To suffer with oppressive heat or stuffy confinement; swelter.
3. Informal To be in a state of anxiety or agitation. See Synonyms at boil1.
a. A dish cooked by stewing, especially a mixture of meat or fish and vegetables with stock.
b. A mixture likened to this dish.
2. Informal Mental agitation: in a stew over the lost keys.
3. often stews Archaic A brothel.
[Middle English stewen, to bathe in a steam bath, stew, from Old French estuver, possibly from Vulgar Latin *extūpāre, *extūfāre, to bathe, evaporate : Latin ex-, ex- + Vulgar Latin *tūfus, hot vapor (from Greek tūphos, fever; see TYPHUS).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.