\ 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 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 Keep in mind that the company has a long history of innovation, going back to the invention of the steel plow in 1837. Tom Taulli, Forbes, 15 May 2021 The current flag of Montana features the state seal -- which includes mountains, plains, forests, a river, a plow, a pick and a shovel -- against a blue background with the name of the state in yellow lettering. Iris Samuels, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2021 Enough snow to shovel and plow is possible in cities such as Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton, New York, AccuWeather said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2021 There's disagreement over whether the guilty plow belonged to the county or Minnesota Department of Transportation. Susan Du, Star Tribune, 31 Mar. 2021 Between the snow plow lots, agricultural equipment factories, Dollar Trees and Walmarts, Asian American stores and restaurants rise out of tiny strip malls. Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2021 Settlers began systemically clearing the Great Plains prairie in the early 1800s as the John Deere plow became a staple of conventional tilling, which is the practice of digging up the topsoil to plant seeds. Becca Dzombak, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Apr. 2021 The officer talked to the woman, who said a man in a dark blue pickup truck with a red plow brought the dogs home. John Benson, cleveland, 31 Mar. 2021 In other words, the metaphorical unicorn: a kind of beaked whale—in this case, an animal twice the size of a bottlenose dolphin and as heavy as a plow-pulling horse—that had somehow gone unnoticed, never known to be seen dead or alive by human eyes. J. B. Mackinnon, The Atlantic, 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now is as good a time as any to plow ahead with ambitious development, said founder Mark Falcone of Continuum, which has done large-scale urban projects in Denver and Portland, Ore. Roger Vincent Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2021 But Ford may have a hard time selling it to people who build houses, maintain lawns or plow snow. Tom Krisher, Chron, 20 May 2021 Traditional DRIPs simply take your dividends and plow them back into the stock or fund that issued the dividend. Brett Owens, Forbes, 8 Apr. 2021 Modi seems determined to plow forward in the middle of a political and public health crisis. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 7 May 2021 And those who garden, prune and plow...and still watch shows about gardening. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, 29 Mar. 2021 Gavitt and selection committee chairman Mitch Barnhart have both been clear their priority is to plow ahead rather than to ensure equity. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 13 Mar. 2021 The front of the monument features men are holding a rifle, ax and plow. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, 27 Nov. 2020 The need to plow snow during the winter means the collection schedule will remain varied from December through March. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2021

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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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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