\ 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 plowable (audio) \ adjective
plower \ ˈplau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce plower (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 Thirteen one-ton trucks have been outfitted with plows and salt spreaders, including 10 trucks that will be assigned to respond to complaints in each of Akron’s 10 wards. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron revises snow plow routes, will no longer plow state highways in city," 9 Oct. 2019 Train and bus service has been cut back, state employees are working half days and farmers are being asked to use oxen to pull plows instead driving tractors. Washington Post, "Cubans wait hours in gas lines as fuel crisis bites," 20 Sep. 2019 On top of those losses, modern agriculture consumes a lot of fossil fuels to pull plows and manufacture the synthetic nitrogen fertilizers that farmers rely on to coax large harvests from degraded soils. David R. Montgomery, The Conversation, "Restoring soil can help address climate change," 13 Aug. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One person was killed when a white nationalist plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. NBC News, "Heritage of resistance: Reenactment to honor slave rebellion," 6 Nov. 2019 Police said that no students were injured when the Indianapolis Public Schools bus plowed into the side of a Cash America Pawn store on Tuesday morning. USA TODAY, "Lynyrd Skynyrd, ‘Breaking Bad’ beer, cheetahs, record muskie: News from around our 50 states," 24 Oct. 2019 Tech giants, startups, investors, and governments are plowing more money into quantum computing. Wired, "Quantum Computing Is Here! But Also Not Really," 24 Oct. 2019 Backers expect the tax to generate $100 million in revenue for the state, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration have said will be plowed into helping victims of the opioid crisis. Anastassia Gliadkovskaya, Fortune, "New York State Drew Up a Tax to Punish Opioid Makers—But Found Some Unanticipated Side Effects," 16 Sep. 2019 As soon as Kent State’s offense took the field again, Bryant got in on the action and plowed Crum to the ground. Giana Han, al, "Auburn’s d-line sparked to five sacks," 15 Sep. 2019 The junior took the handoff behind a power formation and plowed the ball up the middle for a three-yard score. Nathan Cambridge, Burbank Leader, "Burbank football ends nonleague schedule with loss to Hart," 13 Sep. 2019 Land in Mbar Toubab, Senegal, which was plowed in anticipation of the planting of seedlings for the Great Green Wall. Aryn Baker / Mbar Toubab, Time, "Can a 4,815-Mile Wall of Trees Help Curb Climate Change in Africa?," 12 Sep. 2019 The Bahamas has been struck by many of the storms that have plowed through the Caribbean in the last few decades: Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Floyd, Ike, Matthew, Irma, and so on. Ferguson Bernard, The New Yorker, "Hurricane Dorian Was a Climate Injustice," 12 Sep. 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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for plow

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on plow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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