\ ˈsau̇ How to pronounce sow (audio) \

Definition of sow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an adult female swine also : the adult female of various other animals (such as a bear)
2a : a channel that conducts molten metal to molds
b : a mass of metal solidified in such a mold : ingot


\ ˈsō How to pronounce sow (audio) \
sowed; sown\ ˈsōn How to pronounce sow (audio) \ or sowed; sowing

Definition of sow (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to plant seed for growth especially by scattering
2 : to set something in motion : begin an enterprise

transitive verb

1a : to scatter (seed) upon the earth for growth broadly : plant sense 1a
b : to strew with or as if with seed
c : to introduce into a selected environment : implant
2 : to set in motion : foment sow suspicion
3 : to spread abroad : disperse

Examples of sow in a Sentence

Verb Every year we sow corn. Farmers sowed the fields with corn. We'll sow in the early spring.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fast-food chain Chipotle, which started weeding out the practice of sow crates 11 years before McDonalds, briefly took pork off its menu in 2015 over inhumane treatment by a major supplier. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 21 Feb. 2022 Pig packs, also known as sounders, generally consist of at least one sow and a multigenerational assortment of her offspring. Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 Behind the pulse pounding against his temples was the sickening realization that a sow with a cub in a den was among the worst possible scenarios for a bear encounter. Caroline Van Hemert, Outside Online, 11 Aug. 2021 The edits, which included the deletion of three genes that might have led to rejection by the human immune system, were made in pig cells as part of a lab process resulting in an embryo that was implanted in a sow. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2022 One is the standard for sows: The law requires that pork producers provide at least 24 square feet of space per pregnant sow. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2022 Proposition 12 would also mandate elaborate tracking systems to certify that pork sold in California originated from a sow at a compliant farm. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2021 This undated file photo provided by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks shows a sow grizzly bear spotted near Camas, in northwestern Montana. CBS News, 7 Dec. 2021 Hikers and hunters who unknowingly walk between a grizzly and its prey, or a sow and her cubs, are most at risk. Natalie Schachar, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In January, an outspoken pro-Beijing newspaper, Ta Kung Pao, accused the cardinal of using his priesthood to sow chaos in Hong Kong. Selina Cheng, WSJ, 11 May 2022 During the depths of the pandemic, Forrester advised companies to continue to invest in marketing, arguing that marketing investments made during the downturn would sow the seeds for a quicker recovery. Forrester, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Both are viral baseless conspiracy theories, with prejudicial undertones, championed by Trump to engage an enthusiastic base and to sow seeds of doubt in the wider population. Dan Merica, CNN, 10 Apr. 2022 Wait for the warmer soils of May to sow directly the seeds of heat-loving annuals and vegetables, such as sweet corn, beans, sunflowers, zinnias, okra and cosmos. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2021 The reoccurring solar eclipse, and the breakup of Yugoslavia, warn us that the postwar European peace is an illusion, that our violent history can be used to sow the seeds for new carnage and war. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 21 Mar. 2022 Russia, which has a long history of using this type of hybrid warfare to take a psychological toll, used a familiar playbook to sow confusion and doubt in the days before the invasion. Vera Bergengruen, Time, 26 Feb. 2022 The fake electors effort is now seen by the committee as a political disinformation tactic used to sow doubt in Joe Biden's win before the January 6, 2021, Electoral College vote certification in Washington. Katelyn Polantz, Annie Grayer And Holmes Lybrand, CNN, 25 Feb. 2022 Readers of a certain age will recall how the Soviet Union’s propagandists used the social and antiwar turmoil of the 1960s to sow dislike of America around the world. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sow


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for sow


Middle English sowe, from Old English sugu; akin to Old English & Old High German sow, Latin sus pig, swine, hog, Greek hys


Middle English, from Old English sāwan; akin to Old High German sāwen to sow, Latin serere, Lithuanian sėti

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The first known use of sow was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sow


\ ˈsau̇ How to pronounce sow (audio) \

Kids Definition of sow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an adult female pig


\ ˈsō How to pronounce sow (audio) \
sowed; sown\ ˈsōn \ or sowed; sowing

Kids Definition of sow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to plant or scatter (as seed) for growing We sow corn every spring.
2 : to cover with or as if with scattered seed for growing The farmer sowed a field with oats.
3 : to set in motion : cause to exist Both groups are sowing bad feelings.

Other Words from sow

sower noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sow

Nglish: Translation of sow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sow for Arabic Speakers


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