General English


  • A mixture of meat, usually tough and cut into small pieces, cooked slowly with vegetables, cooking liquor and flavourings on top of the heat source until tender, a process which can take many hours

Origin & History of “stew”

The cooking sense of stew is a secondary development, first recorded in English in the 15th century. It originally denoted ‘take a steam bath’. It came via Old French estuver from vulgar Latin *extūfāre. this was a compound verb formed from a probable noun *tūfus ‘hot vapour, steam’, a descendant of Greek tū́phos ‘smoke, steam, stupor’ (source also of English typhus (18th c.) and typhoid (18th c.)). *Extūfāre probably lies behind English stifle too.