Monday was the first full day of spring, and warm weather will likely remind many that its time for the first mow.—Sean McDonnell, cleveland, 22 Mar. 2022 Learn more and and purchase tickets at www.alaskabg.org Don’t rake or blow, mow: All the stuff blown down on the lawn is great microbe food.—Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Aug. 2023 Rather than roaming in a random pattern, as most auto-mowers do, the Automower 415X mows in a stripe or checkerboard pattern, which will make your lawn look like professional landscapers have cared for it.—Kate Morgan, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2023 Once it's programmed, the robot goes out to mow, then returns to its charging station when there's a certain amount of battery life remaining, such as 10 or 15 percent.—Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, 26 July 2023 For faster control without resorting to a burner or herbicide, mow or use a strong trimmer to cut the weeds close to the ground.—Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 1 June 2023 The plan that’s being developed will have to address this issue, but the reality is the options are few — mow, graze or burn — and none are easy to carry out or guaranteed to be effective.—Jennifer Oldham, ProPublica, 12 May 2023 Anybody should be able to get behind any mower and mow safely without a lot of instruction.—Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 12 May 2023 To keep ticks at bay at home, trim brush, mow grass, and rake leaves on your property.—Health Editorial Team, Health, 21 Apr. 2023
On the precipice For all their importance to the smooth running of nature’s threshing machine, vultures themselves are being mowed under at an alarming rate.—Natalie Angier, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Fred took a job as a maintenance man for the county, installing plumbing in low-income housing and mowing the fairgrounds.—Eli Hager, ProPublica, 16 Oct. 2023 If using cover crops, be sure to select one that can be killed by cold temperatures or mowing rather than tilling or herbicides.—oregonlive, 7 Sep. 2023 Avalon Village, Harris said, has mowed that parcel's front lawn.—Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2023 But the slasher franchises of the late 1970s and ’80s introduced a new standard, driving up the overall number of jump scares as killers like Freddy Kreuger and Michael Myers mowed their way through hordes of suburban teenagers.—Shelly Tan, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2023 Opinion: How Israel can break the futile cycle of its failed ‘mowing the grass’ strategy in Gaza.—Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 If using a winter cover crop, gardeners should plant in early fall and mow in spring after flowering but before the plants set seeds and become weeds.—oregonlive, 7 Sep. 2023 Outraged that his high school lacked a performing arts program, Walker-Webb spent the summer between his freshman and sophomore years mowing lawns and selling sandwiches to raise enough money to found a theater club.—Mary Carole McCauley, Baltimore Sun, 7 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, heap, stack, from Old English mūga; akin to Old Norse mūgi heap
Middle English mowen, going back to Old English māwan (past participle māwen), going back to West Germanic *mēan- (whence, with a differing hiatus consonant, Old Frisian miā, miān "to mow," Middle Dutch maeyen, Old High German *māen), going back to an Indo-European verbal base *h2meh1- "reap, mow," whence also Greek amáō, amân "to reap, cut" (perhaps from *h2mh1-eh2-)
Old English māwan is a Class VII strong verb (like cnāwanknow entry 1, blāwanblow entry 1), though a weak verb in later Middle and Modern English and in other Germanic languages. The element *-eh1- in *h2meh1- has been treated as a suffix, with a parallel derivative *h2m-et- yielding Italo-Celtic *met-, in Latin metō, metere "to reap, harvest, cut off," Welsh medaf, medi "to reap," Middle Breton midiff, Breton mediñ, Middle Irish meithel "reaping party," Welsh medel. Hittite hamešha(nt)- "spring, harvest time" has also been connected with *h2meh1-, though with some dispute. Cf. aftermath, meadow.
Middle English mowe, from Anglo-French mouwe, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch mouwe protruding lip
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1