plough

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English plouh, plow, plugh(e), plough(e), plouw, from Old English plōh ‎(hide of land, ploughland) and Old Norse plógr ‎(plough (the implement)), both from Proto-Germanic *plōgaz, *plōguz ‎(plough). Cognate with Scots pleuch, plou ‎(plough), West Frisian ploech ‎(plough), North Frisian plog ‎(plough), Dutch ploeg ‎(plough), Low German Ploog ‎(plough), German Pflug ‎(plough), Danish plov ‎(plough), Swedish and Norwegian plog ‎(plough), Icelandic plógur ‎(plough). Replaced Old English sulh ‎(plough, furrow); see sullow.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

plough ‎(plural ploughs)

  1. A device pulled through the ground in order to break it open into furrows for planting.
    The horse-drawn plough had a tremendous impact on agriculture.
  2. Alternative term for Ursa Major
  3. Alternative form of ploughland, an alternative name for a carucate or hide.
    • Tale of Gamelyn
      Johan, mine eldest son, shall have plowes five.
  4. A joiner's plane for making grooves.
  5. A bookbinder's implement for trimming or shaving off the edges of books.

Usage notes[edit]

The spelling plow is usual in the United States, but the spelling plough may be found in literary or historical contexts there.

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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

plough ‎(third-person singular simple present ploughs, present participle ploughing, simple past and past participle ploughed)

  1. (transitive) To use a plough on to prepare for planting.
    I've still got to plough that field.
  2. (intransitive) To use a plough.
    Some days I have to plough from sunrise to sunset.
  3. (transitive, vulgar) To have sex with.
  4. To move with force.
    • 2011 January 18, “Wolverhampton 5 - 0 Doncaster”, BBC:
      Wolves continued to plough forward as young Belgian midfielder Mujangi Bia and Ronald Zubar both hit shots wide from good positions.
  5. To furrow; to make furrows, grooves, or ridges in.
    • Shakespeare
      Let patient Octavia plough thy visage up / With her prepared nails.
  6. (nautical) To run through, as in sailing.
    • Alexander Pope
      With speed we plough the watery way.
  7. (bookbinding) To trim, or shave off the edges of, as a book or paper, with a plough.
  8. (joinery) To cut a groove in, as in a plank, or the edge of a board; especially, a rectangular groove to receive the end of a shelf or tread, the edge of a panel, a tongue, etc.

Derived terms[edit]

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