There are 2 main definitions of mow in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

mow1

Syllabification: mow

verb (past participle mowed or mown /mōn/)

[with object]
1Cut down (an area of grass) with a machine: Roger mowed the lawn (as adjective mown) the smell of newly mown grass
More example sentences
  • When they did sit down to eat, they were surrounded by the smell of newly mown grass.
  • It was a hot day and the windows were open and the smell of newly mown grass wafted in from the playing fields.
  • As I walked up the freshly mowed lawn, I saw the usual sight.
Synonyms
cut (down), trim;
crop, clip, prune, manicure
1.1chiefly historical Cut down (grass or a cereal crop) with a scythe or a sickle.
Example sentences
  • In the mosque courtyard, workers mowed grass, raked out brush and freshened up old flower beds with new green plants.
  • The illustrations in such medieval prayer books represented the work of the season: here a peasant mows a meadow.
  • We know of several people who mow lawns with a scythe.

Origin

Old English māwan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch maaien, German mähen 'mow', also to mead2.

Phrasal verbs

mow someone down

1
Kill someone with a fusillade of bullets or other missiles.
Example sentences
  • On Friday, 20 guerrillas captured 8 policemen at a checkpoint near the city, took them to their offices, and mowed them down with gunfire.
  • It's about one of the prisoners who did escape as they were marched out there, blindfolded and put before mass graves, and they mowed them down and they buried them.
  • It is not surprising that they were mown down by machine-gun fire.
Synonyms
kill, run down, gun down, shoot down, cut down, cut to pieces, butcher, slaughter, massacre, annihilate, wipe out
informal blow away
1.1Recklessly knock someone down with a car or other vehicle.
Example sentences
  • The customer service worker said: ‘Not only could he have mown us down but he could have hurt other innocent victims as he drove like a maniac in the busy centre roads.’
  • The family of an interior designer mown down by a hit-and-run driver are urging witnesses to help police catch him.
  • A father has described the horror of seeing his six-year-old boy mowed down by a hit-and-run driver.

Derivatives

mower

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Lawnmower manufacturers, who have been waging a battle against the new regulations, point out that British mowers tend to be noisier than their continental counterparts.
  • Sales of self-propelled mowers have held well, with six new machines registered in the Republic of Ireland this year, all in the Munster region.
  • And, you should see some of the injuries and deaths I've seen from accidents involving mowers and weed whackers.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of mow in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

mow2

Syllabification: mow

noun

[often with modifier] North American or dialect
1A stack of hay, grain, or other similar crop: the hay mow
More example sentences
  • The main theme of his article was about how hay knives were used to cut sections from the stack or mow.
  • Most often it was set up in a barn beside the mow of loose hay.
  • And before night they'd finished threshing the whole mow of wheat.
1.1A place in a barn where a stack of hay or grain is put.
Example sentences
  • By July 15th or 20th, the hay was all stowed away in the barn mows.
  • Seventy and more years ago, loose hay for feed and straw for bedding were lifted into the mows by a system of knives and pulleys.
  • A small, freshly planked room below the straw mow was filled with oats, enough to last until next August.

Origin

Old English mūga; of unknown ultimate origin; compare with Swedish and Norwegian muga 'heap'.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.