tow

verb
\ ˈtō How to pronounce tow (audio) \
towed; towing; tows

Definition of tow

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

: to draw or pull along behind : haul tow a wagon

intransitive verb

: to move in tow trailers that tow behind the family auto— Bob Munger

Definition of tow (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : the act or an instance of towing
b : the fact or state of being towed
2a : something towed (such as a boat or car)
b : a group of barges lashed together and usually pushed
3a : something (such as a tugboat) that tows
4 : a rope or chain for towing
in tow
1 : accompanying or following usually as an attending or dependent party not easy shopping with kids in tow
2 : under guidance or protection taken in tow by a friendly native

Definition of tow (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : short or broken fiber (as of flax, hemp, or synthetic material) that is used especially for yarn, twine, or stuffing
2a : yarn or cloth made of tow
b : a loose essentially untwisted strand of synthetic fibers

Definition of tow (Entry 4 of 4)

chiefly Scotland and dialects of England

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Synonyms & Antonyms for tow

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of tow in a Sentence

Verb The car was towed to the nearest garage after the accident. The police towed my car because it was parked illegally.

First Known Use of tow

Verb

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

Noun (1)

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tow

Verb

Middle English, from Old English togian; akin to Old English tēon to draw, pull, Old High German ziohan to draw, pull, Latin ducere to draw, lead

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Old English tow- spinning; akin to Old Norse tuft of wool for spinning, Old English tawian to prepare for use — more at taw

Noun (3)

Middle English (Scots), probably from Old English toh- (in tohlīne towline); akin to Old English togian to tow

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Time Traveler for tow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tow

Cite this Entry

“Tow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tow. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for tow

tow

verb
How to pronounce tow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tow

: to pull (a vehicle) behind another vehicle with a rope or chain

tow

verb
\ ˈtō How to pronounce tow (audio) \
towed; towing

Kids Definition of tow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to draw or pull along behind

tow

noun

Kids Definition of tow (Entry 2 of 3)

: an act or instance of drawing or pulling along behind : the fact or state of being drawn or pulled along behind

tow

noun

Kids Definition of tow (Entry 3 of 3)

: short broken fiber of flax, hemp, or jute used for yarn, twine, or stuffing

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More from Merriam-Webster on tow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tow

Spanish Central: Translation of tow

Nglish: Translation of tow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tow

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