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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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
A mature female sheep, goat, or related animal, as the smaller antelopes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a. a female sheep
b. (as modifier): a ewe lamb
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Breeding ewes met a buoyant trade and store lambs sold to a very good trade again.
Experiment one: This experiment included 119 Romney ewes aged 3 to 5 years of age and their 357 lambs, these were a subset of 148 ewes used by Kenyon et al [8].
Is it not hypocritical that these same Ewes who are saying the people of Oti do not have any mandate to have their separate region, are telling us with chilling words that they want a country of their own?
Thus, enhancing the reproductive function of ewes provides the potential for increasing the productivity in sheep meat production systems (King et al., 2010).
EWE AND LAMB COUPLES (14) QUALITY outfits topped at PS284 for a ewe with twins from Jones, Gorlan, who also sold others at PS210 and PS164; PS214 from Williams, Parcyperson, who also sold others at PS182, PS166 and PS144; PS160 from Davies, Hafan Gerdd; PS156 from Thomas, Dolau Newydd.
This study was planned to investigate the effect of using trace minerals boluses as a source of Se, Cu, Zn, Co and Mn to Naemi ewes at late gestation (60 days prepartum) on the mineral profile of the ewes and their newborn lambs at birth, colostrum composition and weight of the newborn.
A EWE mastitis research project funded by AHDB Beef & Lamb has highlighted the importance of knowing a flock's udder health status.
Determining the pregnancy status of a ewe is an important management practice.
Three-year-old ewes sold to pounds 110 for a pen of 20 from IG Evans & Son, Halton, Chirk.
High individual variability in the superovulatory (SOV) response and the transferable embryo yield is common in ewes and compromises the success ofMOET programs (MENCHACA et al., 2010).