Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: stow
Pronunciation: /stō

Definition of stow in English:


[with object]
Pack or store (an object) carefully and neatly in a particular place: the bathhouse offers baskets in which to stow your clothes she stowed the map away in the glove compartment
More example sentences
  • The design is too restrictive, it is too bulky to be stowed in a pack, it stinks when wet, and it falls to pieces the first time it is washed.
  • Recovering, she picked up her letter and carefully stowed it in her backpack.
  • I wave and carefully stow my bike against the fence at the back of the beer garden.
pack, load, store, place, put (away), deposit, stash


late Middle English: shortening of bestow.


stow it!

informal Used as a way of urging someone to be quiet or to stop doing something.
Example sentences
  • And please, if you have an urge to accuse me of ‘agendas’ and all that trash, just stow it!
  • If you have have some sort of constructive criticism, lecture about my self-pity or gloat to offer, do me a favor and just stow it, will ya?

Phrasal verbs

stow away

Conceal oneself on a ship, aircraft, or other passenger vehicle in order to travel secretly or without paying the fare: he stowed away on a ship bound for South Africa
More example sentences
  • He stows away on a Portugal-bound ship, has qualms about the reception that might await him, and jumps ship at St. Helena.
  • What's strange is that you're stowing away on a ship in the first place.
  • He ran away from home aged 15, stowed away on a ship and ended up in South America.
hide, conceal oneself, travel secretly

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day sacerdotal
Pronunciation: ˌsasəˈdəʊt(ə)l
relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly