: a large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting bulk material (such as ore, sand, or refuse)

Examples of scow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The foundation could be a raft made of tree logs; pontoon made of fiberglass, steel or aluminum; plywood barge or scow floats made from salvaged wooden and metal hulls; or box floats made of wood, metal or Styrofoam. oregonlive, 28 Oct. 2022 Johnson would invent the scow, which would become the world's fastest boat, one of which would hang in the Smithsonian Institute. Jim Souhan, Star Tribune, 20 July 2021 The scow began to drift downstream toward the edge of the falls and the 167-foot drop beyond. Kayla Epstein, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2019 Partway through the trip, their motorboat breaks down, and they are forced to pole more than 200 miles upriver in a scow. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, 6 Feb. 2020 Over a century ago, the 80-foot-long scow was dredging for a tugboat along the Niagara River, upstream from Niagara Falls. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, 5 Nov. 2019 The two men opened the bottom of the scow to flood it and slow it down. Nr Editors, National Review, 7 Nov. 2019 The commission extensively documented it last year to mark the 100th anniversary of the rescue and grounding of the scow. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2019 The scow broke loose from its tug with two men aboard on Aug. 6, 1918, and began drifting toward the treacherous falls, according to Niagara Parks. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, 4 Nov. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Dutch schouw; akin to Old High German scalta punt pole

First Known Use

1669, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scow was in 1669

Dictionary Entries Near scow

Cite this Entry

“Scow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scow. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting sand, gravel, or refuse

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