1. A trawl net.
2. See setline.
a. An act of trawling, as for fish.
b. An act of searching for or examining something: A trawl of local records produced some leads.
v. trawled, trawl·ing, trawls
1. To catch (fish) with a trawl.
2. To fish (an area) with a trawl.
a. To search (an area) or go to (different places) in search of something: trawled the shops for a bargain.
b. To make an examination of something: trawled the archives for a manuscript.
1. To fish with a trawl.
2. To troll.
a. To search for or try to acquire something: a contractor trawling for day laborers.
b. To make an examination of something: trawling through a writer's papers.
[Possibly Middle English trawelle, perhaps from Middle Dutch tragel, dragnet, possibly from Latin trāgula, from trahere, to drag. V. tr., sense 3a, and v. intr., sense 2, influenced by TROLL1.]
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:
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.