\ 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 Enough snow to shovel and plow is possible in cities such as Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton, New York, AccuWeather said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "45M face severe weather risk, including possible tornadoes, in Southeast; snow likely in Northeast," 31 Mar. 2021 There's disagreement over whether the guilty plow belonged to the county or Minnesota Department of Transportation. Susan Du, Star Tribune, "Crash that injured cyclist is latest incident at troubled south Minneapolis intersection," 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, "Where are Asian American communities growing the fastest? Not California," 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, "The Nation’s Corn Belt Has Lost a Third of Its Topsoil," 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, "Runaway dog returns home with a gunshot wound: Seven Hills Police Blotter," 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, "Beaked Whales Are the Animals We Need Right Now," 30 Mar. 2021 MnDOT in December solicited suggestions for naming one plow in each of its eight districts and received more than 22,000 ideas. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "Big winner in MnDOT's snowplow contest: Plowy McPlowFace," 3 Mar. 2021 The equipment includes over 1,400 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders, the Department of Transportation said in a statement. Charlie Mckenna,, "MassDOT plows at ready for oncoming storm," 18 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Modi seems determined to plow forward in the middle of a political and public health crisis. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "India’s PM will meet with leaders of all 27 EU countries to talk about … trade?," 7 May 2021 And those who garden, prune and plow...and still watch shows about gardening. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "7 Amazing Shows to Stream If You'd Always Rather Be Gardening," 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, "COVID-19 toll could improve Louisville's tournament prospects," 13 Mar. 2021 The front of the monument features men are holding a rifle, ax and plow. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "Minneapolis park crews assess damage to Washington, Pioneers statues," 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, "Milwaukee is increasing recycling pickup frequency as it moves to every-other-week recycling starting June 1," 26 Apr. 2021 Expenses of $34,000 included campaign mailings, a billboard and about $3,400 to hire a company to plow snow for some city residents, according to her report. Mike Nolan,, "Finance reports show more than $500,000 spent by campaigns before Southland elections," 19 Apr. 2021 New York will plow a fifth of whatever cannabis tax revenue is left after expenses into drug-treatment programs. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "With Pot Taxes, It’s Bad to Get Too High," 16 Apr. 2021 At night, excavators plow the earth at the busy construction site. Dallas News, "Starbase, Texas: Can Elon Musk really create his own city near SpaceX’s Gulf Coast launchpad?," 6 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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 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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