in tow

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in tow

  1. (of a vehicle, conveyance, etc.) Pulled by means of an attached line, such as a cable, chain, or rope.
  2. (figuratively, usually of persons) Following or accompanying under the direction of another, as if attached by a line and being pulled.
    • 1903, Frank Norris, The Pit, ch. 2:
      "He's got a man from Cincinnati in tow, and they are going to dine at the Calumet Club."
    • 1987, "Central America: Speaking His Peace," Time, 5 Oct.:
      The House of Representatives hummed with excitement as Congressmen and Senators, many with their spouses and children in tow, awaited the man of the hour.


in tow

  1. (of a vehicle, conveyance, etc.) In a manner involving being pulled by means of an attached line.
    • 1896, G. A. Henty, A Knight of the White Cross, ch. 15:
      Presently the wind nearly died out, and the galley and prizes then took the coasters and fishing craft in tow.
  2. (figuratively, usually of persons) In a manner of movement characterized by following another and being under the direction of that other, as if attached by a line and being pulled.
    • 1846, Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, ch. 12:
      Doctor Blimber accompanied them; and Paul had the honour of being taken in tow by the Doctor himself.
    • 2005, William Mueller, Rome Revisited, ISBN 9781420816266, p. 10:
      Then with an impertinent presumption she came running out the front door with the maid moving in tow.



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