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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Excellent trade on all cull ewes & rams forward.
Ewe - 1 Mrs Kate Smith; 2 and 3 Firm of Andrew M Brown.
Ewe's lawyer asked for his client to remain out on bail in the meantime, but Justice Chan rejected the request and ordered Ewe to begin serving his jail time.
The lamb's ability to discriminate its dam has been used as an indicator of ewe-lamb bond strength [28,29], an aspect of ewe and lamb behaviour that could not be measured through paddock observations.
It is very important to ask, how many more Ewe youth and adults are hooked on to the idea that a war of liberation was the only necessary method to illegally break away to form an independent state?
The strongest ewes were as dear as ever, Suffolk X to PS141 from DJ & P Parker.
In conclusion, trace mineral boluses supplementation to pregnant ewes at late gestation improved minerals status of the ewes and their newborns at parturition and consequently enhanced body weight.
At the time of lamb weighing and identification, ewe behavior was assessed by a six-point scale (maternal behavior score, MBS) which assessed the escaping distance of the ewe, adapted from Rech et al.
The higher the percentage of ewes in a flock with lumps during pregnancy, the higher the number of ewes with lumps in lactation, suggesting that the infection is passed within the flock.
For the first few days after lambing, a ewe recognizes her lamb by sense of smell.