\ 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 intoplow 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 plow (audio) \ adjective
plower \ ˈplau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce plow (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for plow

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of plow in a Sentence

Verb 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 Kevin Kresen, 58, was in his car on the side of the road in Owego, New York, on Wednesday night when a snow plow buried it under an immovable mass of snow. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, "New York man freed from car after a snow plow buried him under 4 feet of snow," 18 Dec. 2020 In the distance, a small plow was clearing the ice, sending the snow sailing through the air, its headlights cutting through the gathering darkness., "Frozen Footsteps: A story for Christmas," 18 Dec. 2020 Speaking of snow, a big storm could trap your vehicle in several feet of the stuff, and things can get even worse if a plow goes by and buries it further. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "Gifts that every car owner should have," 18 Dec. 2020 The top eight vote-getters will make their way onto a plow, one in each of MnDOT's eight districts, before the winter season ends. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "MnDOT launches snowplow naming contest," 17 Dec. 2020 The brush on this snow broom works as a plow, frost blade, and squeegee to clear away every flake. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "5 Top-Rated Snow Brooms to Help You Clear Off Your Car in One Quick Sweep," 17 Dec. 2020 City officials also noted that city plow crews started with five trucks on the road, salting ahead of the snow. cleveland, "Time to submit entries for the Avon Lake snowman contest: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 5 Dec. 2020 The bodies were found early Monday morning, by a snow plow driver who was clearing lanes of U.S. 395, about 10 miles north of the community of Bridgeport, in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. Michael Williams,, "Two bodies found by snow plow driver in Mono County were husband and wife from Burbank," 12 Nov. 2020 At a news briefing, Polis said state employees who need to work on site – such as snow plow crews, correction officers and state troopers – will be exempt from his order on working remotely. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Turkey downsizing, saliva testing, mask effects: News from around our 50 states," 11 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Conklin believes the Browns can plow their way to victories the same way the Titans did last year with Derrick Henry. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Kevin Stefanski not concerned with Steelers’ dominance: ‘The 14 teams that are in it want to win the Super Bowl’," 4 Jan. 2021 With most schools devoid of students because of remote instruction, the need to plow school parking lots and bus loops is not as critical, which will free up some crews, DuVal said. Washington Post, "Local governments, still grappling with the pandemic, prepare for winter," 8 Dec. 2020 The Indiana Department of Transportation plows state roads and local municipalities plow local roads, officials said. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Lake County prepared for winter ahead: ‘It’s Northwest Indiana, you never know what’s going to happen’," 2 Dec. 2020 Handed $40 billion earlier this year to buy global stocks, the PIF plans to plow the same amount into the domestic economy next year and again in 2022. Matthew Martin,, "Saudi Arabia’s $360 Billion Wealth Fund Reshuffles Key Team," 22 Dec. 2020 The man, identified by the medical examiner's office as 63-year-old John Vichie, was outside using a snowblower when just before 5 p.m. he was struck by a North Versailles Public Works plow that was backing up the street. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Snowplow hits and kills Pennsylvania man, 63, during storm," 17 Dec. 2020 Still, the recipe was appealing enough, and the source newsworthy enough, to plow ahead. Washington Post, "I made Kamala Harris’s cornbread dressing — and filled in all the details so you can make it, too," 25 Nov. 2020 Shough’s long pass to Redd down the right sideline nearly resulted in a touchdown, but gave Verdell a short field to plow through. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks come back from 19-7 hole dug by 3 turnovers to avenge their 2018 loss at Washington State," 14 Nov. 2020 One bright spot is the effort to develop vaccines and therapeutics, which continues to plow ahead at a record pace, though neither will be widely available soon enough to blunt the surge of cases this winter. Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus cases in the US shatter records, straining health care," 6 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for plow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plow

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for plow


How to pronounce plow (audio)

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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