\ ˈklau̇ \
plural -s

Definition of clow

1 : an outfall sluice for water from a tidal river after it has deposited its sediment on flooded land
2 : a floodgate especially for a lock or water mill

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for clow

alteration of Middle English clowse (taken as plural), from Old English clūs, clūse bar, bolt, enclosure, from Medieval Latin clusa enclosure, from Latin, feminine of clusus, clausus, past participle of claudere to close

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clow

Statistics for clow

Cite this Entry

“Clow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on clow

What made you want to look up clow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!