\ ˈplau̇ \

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 \ adjective
plower \ ˈplau̇(-​ə)r \ 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

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 Another complaint hinted at during discussion was roads possibly getting missed by plow drivers. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Franklin to install GPS on trucks in response to criticism of plowing/salting operations," 2 Mar. 2018 The front platform would sport robotic arms and a plow, while the rear platform would carry a pressurized cabin for a single driver wearing no spacesuit. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "The Soviet Union's Secret Moon Base That Never Was," 11 Feb. 2016 Last season's storms left cars littered on the sides of roads and freeways, some blocking travel lanes and plows. Elliot Njus,, "Portland officials declare 'parking amnesty,' urge patience as snow threatens evening commute," 20 Feb. 2018 The woman was struck by the plow at about 11:17 p.m., said Officer James Kenneally, a department spokesman. Felicia Gans,, "Woman, 67, critically injured when hit by snow plow near Tufts Medical Center," 8 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped corporations and governments from continuing to plow forward in deploying AI in the real world. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly," 12 Dec. 2018 Eventually, the atom reaches the top of the bowl and flies away, only to plow into the hard stainless steel wall of the vacuum chamber. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Single atoms sit still on a hot plate, may yield new quantum tech," 10 Sep. 2018 There’s another legacy: all the 19th-century Americans who were fed because these pioneers dared to plow and plant and persevere. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Bone and Sinew of the Land' restores a lost chapter of US history," 25 June 2018 Adam's County Sheriff's Office Ward had been going door to door in Springboro just ahead of Christmas offering to plow people’s driveways. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Tattoos got an Ohio man wrongly accused before, lawyer said. Now he’s wanted again.," 20 June 2018 The Bachelor and Bachelorette clearly want to plow forward into progressiveness. Rebecca Farley,, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 4 Recap: Two Rose Ceremonies, One Clown," 19 June 2018 Daley, in particular, had free rein in Springfield—witness the legislation that enabled him to plow over 10 percent of suburban Bensenville to expand O’Hare. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Clout City / Politics / News Could Dems survive without Michael Madigan at the top?," 11 June 2018 That means to plow — no pun intended — and create a way for these kids to come through and run. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Alum Monique Heart Talks Her Spirituality, The Political Side of Drag & More," 4 May 2018 The most impactful yard came early in the fourth quarter, when Carson kept driving his legs and plowed through a crowd of 49ers into the end zone on fourth down. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Instant analysis: Three impressions from the Seahawks’ 26-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers," 16 Dec. 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

25 Dec 2018

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

: 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 \

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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