1. Manner; custom; habit; form of behavior; qualities of mind; disposition; specifically, good qualities; virtues. For her great light Of sapience, and for her thews clear. (Chaucer) Evil speeches destroy good thews. (Wyclif (1 cor. Xv. 33)) To be upbrought in gentle thews and martial might. (Spenser)
2. Muscle or strength; nerve; brawn; sinew. And I myself, who sat apart And watched them, waxed in every limb; I felt the thews of Anakim, The pules of a Titan’s heart. (Tennyson)
Origin: OE. Thew, eau, manner, habit, strength, AS. Eaw manner, habit (cf. Wan to drive); akin to OS. Thau custom, habit, OHG. Dou. 56.