\ 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

On one day in January, a plow driver assisted an elderly woman pull garbage cans up her driveway. Allison Wood,, "Medina mayor explains why city is one of the state’s best," 9 Sep. 2019 These ancient cells were once part of a dog that roamed the frozen Siberian steppe, a husky-like creature that lived in the time before humans invented the wheel or the plow. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "How a 6,000-Year-Old Dog Cancer Spread Around the World," 1 Aug. 2019 Begin with the company whose green machines bear the name of the blacksmith who, in the 1830s in Grand Detour, Ill., invented a self-scouring plow that could turn the Midwest’s heavy black top soil. George Will, National Review, "Trade War Shows Reality of ‘America First’ in Action," 25 Aug. 2019 Begin with the company whose green machines bear the name of the blacksmith who, in the 1830s in Grand Detour, Ill., invented a self-scouring plow that could turn the Midwest’s heavy black topsoil. George F. Will, The Denver Post, "Will: Trade war shows reality of “America First” in action," 25 Aug. 2019 Aerials from the television broadcast showed a snow plow churning through snow and water on the road. Jill Martin, CNN, "Tour de France Stage 19 stopped because of adverse weather," 26 July 2019 The city's full fleet of 300 plows will be out all weekend, CBS Chicago reports. CBS News, "Chicago's first snowstorm of the weekend ends but more snow is on the way," 10 Feb. 2018 Spears asked the youngster for directions, and Nagurski lifted his plow to point him in the right direction. The Si Staff,, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 Wheat farmers were the first to respond to the rapidly spreading fire and used their disc plows and water trucks to slow it down before any firefighters arrived. USA TODAY, "Whiskey webs, alien abductions, goldfish invasion: News from around our 50 states," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Startups such as Eviation, as well as incumbent manufacturers and suppliers, are already plowing money into hybrid and electric aircraft. Chris Bryant | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Prince Harry’s Shaming Is Bad News for Private Jets," 26 Aug. 2019 Vision Fund 2 will plow money into tech startups driven by artificial intelligence. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "SoftBank wants its second massive tech fund to raise $108 billion," 25 July 2019 America’s largest e-tailer, Amazon, also plowed serious money into the country. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Why has Facebook invested in a four-year-old Indian startup?," 14 June 2019 Davina Lyn Vongsaravanh, 33, plowed through fences, ripped up backyards and damaged several homes before her aging sedan came to a stop on top of a retaining wall, said Jim Wolf, a Tigard police spokesman. oregonlive, "Woman carves path of destruction through Tigard cul-de-sac in 3-wheel car, police say," 13 Sep. 2019 The Judson product plowed through the line for a 2-yard score late in the third quarter, then broke away for a 54-yard scamper early in the fourth. Greg Luca,, "Baylor stifles UTSA in dominating win," 7 Sep. 2019 Icebreakers are key tools for projecting power in the Arctic, plowing through sea ice so ships can follow in their wake. National Geographic, "Arctic Assets," 21 Aug. 2019 In 2017, a van plowed through pedestrians along a packed promenade in the Spanish city of Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring 120., "This day in history," 17 Aug. 2019 Witnesses saw a white Ford truck plow right through a mother duck and her ducklings playing in a puddle. Ricky Pinela,, "Florida man runs over family of ducks, killing two of the ducklings: report," 14 Aug. 2019

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

2 Oct 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

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