\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun New lands were brought under the plow and hedgerows were ripped up, leading to erosion. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "United Kingdom to embark on ‘agricultural revolution’ in break from EU farm subsidies," 17 Jan. 2020 That only creates another obstacle that could get in the way of plows or emergency services. oregonlive, "10 ways to stay safe on snowy roads in Oregon," 12 Jan. 2020 With a snow emergency in effect, plow trucks finally attacked snow and ice accumulation on rutted residential side-streets on Tuesday, bringing relief some residents called weeks overdue. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul attacks snow, ice on residential side-streets," 31 Dec. 2019 Road Commission assistant engineer Darrell Cass said a plow truck sent to the site got stuck before a grader freed it., "SPALDING TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Authorities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula rescued 19 members of a family who became marooned in a snowed-in cabin after a weekend blizzard swept the area.," 5 Dec. 2019 Road Commission Assistant Engineer Darrell Cass said a plow truck sent to the site got stuck before a grader freed it., "19 people rescued from snowed-in cabin after weekend blizzard in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula," 4 Dec. 2019 Road Commission Assistant Engineer Darrell Cass said a plow truck sent to the site got stuck before a grader freed it. USA TODAY, "19 family members rescued from snowed-in cabin in Michigan," 4 Dec. 2019 Charnay Pickett, spokesperson for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, told IndyStar 80 plow trucks were deployed at 1 p.m. Monday to begin treating city roads. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis weather: Road conditions may still be treacherous Tuesday morning," 11 Nov. 2019 The field was a half-mile wide, bordered by a fencerow on the western end, where a pile of rocks stacked over years of the plow turning them up and farm boys following in the wake, tossing them to the pile. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "A chilly morning, a North Dakota wheat field, a flock of geese and the gift of a lifetime," 30 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After snowfall, road is often plowed only to a popular photo overlook, which adds 0.7 of a mile to each leg of trip. Tom Stienstra,, "Get a fresh New Year start at snowy mountain lookout," 3 Jan. 2020 Those profits enable the company to plow money into many other industries. New York Times, "Prime Leverage: How Amazon Wields Power in the Technology World," 17 Dec. 2019 His father was a longtime Cleveland streets worker who spent summers laying down asphalt and winters plowing snow. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Trump adviser Ja’Ron Smith to address hometown crowd at City Club of Cleveland," 3 Dec. 2019 Silver Lake is plowing more money into sports and entertainment, including an investment in Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., which runs sports leagues, hosts fashion events and represents top athletes and entertainers. Scott Soshnick, Fortune, "Dell. Alibaba. Now Manchester City? Silver Lake’s $500M Bet Brings Tech Expertise to English Premier League," 27 Nov. 2019 A few hours of sleep and some sardines and crackers found us in good spirits, ready to plow snow for another 3 miles, where the trail would drop out of the snowline. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Years later, a loosely planned adventure is remembered for its laughs and lessons," 5 June 2019 Some of the children moved around and pushed the bishops, pawns and knights, while an older boy plowed through the opposing forces with a rogue rook. Clara Turnage, Arkansas Online, "'Twas just before Christmas ...," 22 Dec. 2019 While efforts are under way to stem losses and regain some of what’s been lost, wetlands around the world continue to be filled in and plowed over. James Brooks, The Denver Post, "Bringing the world’s buried wetlands back from the dead," 5 Nov. 2019 In agricultural areas, farmers are being taught to plant around existing trees and sprouts, rather than plowing them over. Aryn Baker / Mbar Toubab, Time, "Can a 4,815-Mile Wall of Trees Help Curb Climate Change in Africa?," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plow

Time Traveler for plow

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for plow

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plow.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!