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plow also plough (plou)
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n.
1. A farm implement consisting of a strong blade at the end of a beam, usually hitched to a draft team or motor vehicle and used for breaking up soil and cutting furrows in preparation for sowing.
2. An implement or machine designed to move earth, snow, or other material by means of a strong blade.
3. Plow See Big Dipper.
v. plowed, plow·ing, plows also ploughed or plough·ing or ploughs
v.tr.
1.
a. To break and turn over (earth) with a plow.
b. To form (a furrow, for example) with a plow.
c. To form furrows in with a plow: plow a field.
d. To form wrinkles or creases in: His forehead was plowed with lines of stress.
2.
a. To move or clear (snow, for example) by means of a plow.
b. To clear (an area) of snow or other material by means of a plow.
3. To make or form with driving force: I plowed my way through the crowd.
4. To progress through (water): plow the high seas.
5. Vulgar Slang To have intercourse with (another). Used of a man.
v.intr.
1. To break and turn up earth with a plow.
2. To move or clear material such as snow with a plow.
3. To admit of plowing: Rocky earth plows poorly.
4. To move or progress with driving force: The ball carrier plowed through the defensive line.
5. To proceed laboriously; plod: plowed through the backlog of work.
Phrasal Verbs:
plow back
To reinvest (earnings or profits) in one's business.
plow in
To block or isolate by plowing snow across ways of egress.
plow into Informal
1. To strike with force: The van plowed into the hydrant.
2. To begin to eat (food) with eagerness.
plow under
1. To turn or force (crops or manure, for example) into the soil with a plow.
2. To overwhelm, as with burdens: was plowed under with work.

[Middle English plough, plouw, from Old English plōh, plōg, plow, plowland.]

plowa·ble adj.
plower n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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