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(ā`vā, –wā), African people, numbering over 3 million, who live in SE Ghana, S Togo, and S Benin. When German Togoland was partitioned after World War I, the Ewe in that colony were divided between France and Britain. The question of reunion was constantly before the United Nations after World War II, but no satisfactory terms of reunification could be found. Part of the Ewe passed (1957) with British Togoland to Ghana by referendum. The Ewe are the largest political group in Togo.


See A. Ellis, The Ewe-speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa (1966).



(self-designation, Ewegbe), a people related to the Fon. The Ewe inhabit southeastern Ghana and southern Togo. According to a 1975 estimate, they number 2.55 million; they speak a Kwa language. Ancient beliefs involving ancestor and nature worship are widespread among the Ewe, although some profess Islam or Christianity. Before European colonization in the 19th century, land cultivation, handicrafts, trade, art, and folklore had reached a high level of development. In modern Ewe society, capitalist relations are combined with vestiges of clan and feudal relations. The Ewe engage primarily in land cultivation, their chief crops being maize, yams, cassava, and sweet potatoes; cocoa beans, oil-palm products, and cotton are produced for export.


Vologdina, V. N. “Narod eve.” In Afrikanskii etnograficheskii sb., [fasc] 1. Moscow, 1956.



the language of the Ewe people, spoken in southeastern Ghana and in southern Togo and Benin (Dahomey). According to a 1972 estimate, there are approximately 2 million speakers of Ewe, which is a Kwa language, of the Niger-Kordofanian language family. Ewe comprises three dialect groups: the western, central, and eastern. The western is made up of Anglo (Awuna) and the “interior” dialects; the central is made up of Wachi, Adja, and Gen; and the eastern is made up of Gun, Fon, and Mahi.

Ewe is distinguished by a rich vowel system: it has seven vowels, five of which have nasalized pairs. All vowels have three degrees of length, and there are numerous diphthongs. Consonants include the bicentral labiovelars gb and kp, and there is an opposition between bilabial and labiovelar f and v. Ewe has a dental and retroflex d and clusters of obstruents and resonants. Lexically distinctive tones exhibit phonological opposition.

Ewe is an isolating language. Simple words are mainly monosyllabic, and composition and reduplication are used extensively. There are derivational prefixes. The person and number of the verb are expressed by subject pronouns; aspect and tense, by special markers and by reduplication. The attribute precedes the word it modifies.

A Latin alphabet was devised in the late 19th century. Ewe literature is published mainly in the Anglo dialect.


Westermann, D. Grammatik der Ewe-Sprache. Berlin, 1907.
Westermann, D. Wörterbuch der Ewe-Sprache. Berlin, 1954.
Ansre, G. The Tonal Structure of Ewe. Hartford, Conn., 1961.



(vertebrate zoology)
A mature female sheep, goat, or related animal, as the smaller antelopes.


a. a female sheep
b. (as modifier): a ewe lamb
References in periodicals archive ?
GAERWEN, Wed, Feb 14 Remarks: Hoggets met a solid trade maintaining recent trend with a strong trade on cull ewes and rams.
At P142, ewes were placed in their nutritional treatments (which included ewes of the three BCS groups), where they remained in the same paddock until 15 days after the mid-point of lambing (L15).
All ewes and newborn lambs used in this trial were treated according to King Saud University regulations for animal care, handling and management.
The procedures were the following: each day three rams (each of a different breed) were allowed to smell the emitting scent of the ewes until they indicate readiness through physical displays towards rams.
Shepherds can collect a sample of blood from the ewe and send it to a laboratory to be analyzed.
2003) as follows: (0) ewes with 4 or less CL, characterizing a lack of response to the SOV treatment; (1) ewes with 5 to 10CL, characterizing intermediate SOV response; and (2) ewes with 11 or more CL, characterizing high response to the SOV treatment.
We tend to lamb our ewes outside in the field, then dip the lamb's navels in iodine to prevent infection and move the ewe and lambs into the shed for a few days before turning them out again on a fine day.
Ewes passed the supplemental selenium to their fetuses during pregnancy and to their nursing offspring through their milk.
68; Tex ewes to PS92; Suffewes to PS85; Xbred ewes to PS82; Mule ewes to PS70; Welsh ewes to PS50; Tex rams to PS80; BFL rams to PS74.
63 pence per kilo and cull ewes sold to a top of PS98.
The aim of the investigation was to determine several factors affecting lactation milk yield amounts of indigenous Akkaraman ewes reared in Sanliurfa (137 farms) and Hakkari (113 farms) provinces of Turkey.