\ ˈplau̇ How to pronounce plow (audio) \

Definition of plow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an implement used to cut, lift, and turn over soil especially in preparing a seedbed
2 : any of various devices (such as a snowplow) operating like a plow


plowed; plowing; plows

Definition of plow (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to turn, break up, or work with a plow
b : to make (something, such as a furrow) with a plow
2 : to cut into, open, or make furrows or ridges in with or as if with a plow
3 : to cleave the surface of or move through (water) whales plowing the ocean
4 : to clear away snow from with a snowplow plow the street
5 : to spend or invest (money) in substantial amounts used with into plow money into stocks

intransitive verb

1a : to use a plow
b : to undergo plowing
2a : to move forcefully into or through something the car plowed into a fence
b : to proceed steadily and laboriously had to plow through a stack of letters

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Other Words from plow


plowable \ ˈplau̇-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce plowable (audio) \ adjective
plower \ ˈplau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce plower (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for plow

Synonyms: Verb

break, furrow

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Examples of plow in a Sentence


The soil was freshly plowed. They used oxen to plow the field. My street hasn't been plowed yet. We hired someone to plow the snow from our driveway. The town won't start plowing until the storm is almost over. a ship plowing the ocean They continued to plow their way through the tall grass.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Children ages 3-7 will rejoice as in Marc Rosenthal’s retro illustrations the little plow surges into action, rays of purposeful energy shooting off his red chassis. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Season’s Readings," 30 Nov. 2018 Although plows sought to sweep the runways clear, hundreds of flights from the region’s three major airports were canceled or delayed, and nearly three-quarters of the flights scheduled to depart from busy New York airports suffered the same fate. Washington Post, "The calendar says it’s spring but wintry weather says otherwise," 21 Mar. 2018 Kevin Hoffer was driving underneath an overpass when chunks of snow and ice displaced from a plow truck crashed onto his SUV's windshield. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "This Terrifying Viral Video Shows Falling Snow Shatter a Driver's Windshield," 5 Dec. 2018 The plow driver is a private contractor hired by Tufts Medical Center to clear streets and sidewalks around hospital grounds, Evans said. Felicia Gans,, "Woman, 67, critically injured when hit by snow plow near Tufts Medical Center," 8 Mar. 2018 There was a patch of white snow at the very end, either pushed by a plow or swirled together by the wind. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Joys of Shoveling Snow," 3 Dec. 2018 Usually, public agencies deploy an army of plows and salt spreaders ahead of storms. Paul Berger, WSJ, "New York City and New Jersey Take Heat Over Response to Snowstorm," 16 Nov. 2018 The highly energetic particles in a cosmic ray’s air shower plow through the water faster than light can. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 Many church services and other events in the Milwaukee area were canceled Sunday and officials were recommending people stay off the roads as plows and salt trucks tried to clear roadways. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spring storm brings ice and snow to Milwaukee and eastern Wisconsin," 15 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Garza Palacios drove up, swerved to avoid their vehicles and plowed into them on the shoulder. Fox News, "ICE arrests man in Maryland crash that killed FBI agent, fire marshal," 2 Oct. 2018 Police say a drunk garbage truck driver in Brooklyn left a trail of destruction, plowing into 9 cars. Josh Magness, kansascity, "Drunk garbage truck driver slammed into 9 cars, cops say. He yelled ‘I didn’t do it,' witness says," 11 June 2018 Over the next 2,500 to 4,000 years, the settlements themselves fell into ruin, and eventually farmers plowed the embankments flat and filled in the ditches with topsoil. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 And that’s sort of our lot, was to plow through a really ugly, difficult campaign. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Former communications director for the Hillary Clinton campaign Jennifer Palmieri on Recode Decode," 12 Apr. 2018 The hybrid term has its roots in the venture capital movement, an investment technique pioneered in Silicon Valley, where tech-savvy zillionaires have been plowing their own stashes back into start-ups for four decades. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "A Farewell to Alms," 27 May 2014 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been plowing ahead with events and engagements—and one secret date. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Makes a Surprise Appearance with Prince Harry—and Thousands of Students Go Wild," 6 Mar. 2019 Both candidates can plow the excess money into their 2020 bids. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Sen. Kamala Harris Raised $1.5 Million in First 24 Hours After Announcing Candidacy," 22 Jan. 2019 Despite that, the de Blasio administration has pressed forward — aggressively financing deals, expanding its goals to 300,000 units and plowing more money into the plan. J. David Goodman, New York Times, "De Blasio Bolsters Affordable Housing, but at What Price?," 4 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plow


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for plow


Middle English, from Old English plōh hide of land; akin to Old High German pfluog plow

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Statistics for plow

Last Updated

3 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plow

The first known use of plow was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for plow



English Language Learners Definition of plow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of farm equipment that is used to dig into and turn over soil especially to prepare the soil for planting



English Language Learners Definition of plow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to dig into or break up (dirt, soil, land, etc.) with a plow
chiefly US : to use a snowplow to remove snow from a road, parking lot, etc.
: to move through, over, or across (something) in a forceful and steady way


\ ˈplau̇ How to pronounce plow (audio) \

Kids Definition of plow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a farm machine used to dig into, break up, and turn over soil
2 : a device (as a snowplow) used to spread or clear away matter on the ground


plowed; plowing

Kids Definition of plow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to dig into, break up, or turn over soil with a plow plow a furrow plow the soil
2 : to move through or continue with force or determination Our ship plowed through the waves. She plowed ahead with the planning.

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More from Merriam-Webster on plow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plow

Spanish Central: Translation of plow

Nglish: Translation of plow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plow for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about plow

Comments on plow

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


an enemy or opponent

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