From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Harrow


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English harwe, harow, from Old English *hearwa (perhaps ultimately cognate with harvest), or from Old Norse harfr/herfi[1]; compare Danish harve (harrow), Dutch hark (rake). Akin to Latin carpere. According to the OED, the verb senses are partly derived from the noun sense, partly from a by-form of the verb harry, itself from Old English hergian.[2]


harrow (plural harrows)

  1. A device consisting of a heavy framework having several disks or teeth in a row, which is dragged across ploughed land to smooth or break up the soil, to remove weeds or cover seeds; a harrow plow.
    • 1918, Louise & Aylmer Maude, Anna Karenina, Oxford, translation of original by Leo Tolstoy, published 1998, page 153:
      He sent for the carpenter, who was under contract to be with the threshing-machine, but it turned out that he was mending the harrows, which should have been mended the week before Lent.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter X:
      “It may be fun for her,” I said with one of my bitter laughs, “but it isn't so diverting for the unfortunate toads beneath the harrow whom she plunges so ruthlessly in the soup.”
    • 1969, Bessie Head, When Rain Clouds Gather, Heinemann, published 1995, page 28:
      Part of your job would be to learn tractor ploughing and the use of planters, harrows, and cultivators.
  2. (military) An obstacle formed by turning an ordinary harrow upside down, the frame being buried.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]


harrow (third-person singular simple present harrows, present participle harrowing, simple past and past participle harrowed)

  1. (transitive) To drag a harrow over; to break up with a harrow.
  2. (transitive) To traumatize or disturb; to frighten or torment.
  3. (transitive) To break or tear, as if with a harrow; to wound; to lacerate; to torment or distress; to vex.
    • 1707, Nicholas Rowe, The Royal Convert:
      my aged muscles harrow'd up with whips
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English harrow, harrowe, haro, from Old French haro, harou, harau, harol, from Frankish *harot, *hara (here; hither), from *hēr. Akin to Old Saxon herod, Old High German herot, Middle Dutch hare.



  1. (obsolete) A call for help, or of distress, alarm etc.


  1. ^ According to ODS: "eng. harrow maaske laant fra nordisk", i.e. "English harrow [is] possibly loaned from Norse".
  2. ^ harrow”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.