sow

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English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sowe, from Old English sugu, from Proto-Germanic *sugō (compare West Frisian sûch, Dutch zeug, Low German Söög, Swedish sugga, Norwegian sugge), from Proto-Indo-European *suh₂kéh₂ (compare Welsh hwch (pig), Sanskrit सूकर (sūkara, swine, boar)), from *suH- ‘pig’ (compare German Sau, Latin sūs, Tocharian B suwo, Ancient Greek ὗς (hûs), Albanian thi, Avestan (boar) [script?]). See also swine.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

A sow with her young.

sow (plural sows or swine)

  1. A female pig.
  2. A channel that conducts molten metal to molds.
  3. A mass of metal solidified in a mold.
    • 1957, H.R. Schubert, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry, p. 160:
      In England, it was generally termed a 'sow', if the weight was above 10 cwts., if below, it was termed a 'pig' from which the present term 'pig iron' is derived.
  4. (derogatory, slang) A contemptible woman.
  5. A sowbug.
  6. (military) A kind of covered shed, formerly used by besiegers in filling up and passing the ditch of a besieged place, sapping and mining the wall, etc.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Craig to this entry?)
Usage notes[edit]

The plural form swine is now obsolete in this sense.

Synonyms[edit]
  • (mass of metal solidified in a mold): ingot
  • (contemptible woman): bitch, cow
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English sowen, from Old English sāwan, from Proto-Germanic *sēaną, from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁-. Compare Dutch zaaien, German säen, Danish .

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

sow (third-person singular simple present sows, present participle sowing, simple past sowed, past participle sown)

  1. (transitive) To scatter, disperse, or plant (seeds).
    When I had sown the field, the day's work was over.
    As you sow, so shall you reap.
  2. (figuratively) To spread abroad; to propagate.
    • Addison
      And sow dissension in the hearts of brothers.
  3. (figuratively) To scatter over; to besprinkle.
    • Sir M. Hale
      The intellectual faculty is a goodly field, [] and it is the worst husbandry in the world to sow it with trifles.
    • Milton
      [He] sowed with stars the heaven.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]