Variant of clew, from Middle English clewe, from Old English clīewen ("ball"), from Proto-Germanic *kliuwīną, *klewô, from Proto-Indo-European *glew- ("to amass, conglomerate; clump, ball, bale"). Sense evolution with reference to the one which the mythical Theseus used to guide him out of the Minotaur's labyrinth. More at clew.
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