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Alternative forms[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, West Frisian ploech, North Frisian plog, Dutch ploeg, Low German Ploog, German Pflug, Danish plov, Swedish and Norwegian plog, Icelandic plógur. Replaced Old English sulh (plough, furrow); see sullow.



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. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) Synonym of 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.




Derived terms[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.
    Trucks plowed through the water to ferry flood victims to safety.
    • 2011 January 18, “Wolverhampton 5 - 0 Doncaster”, in BBC[1]:
      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.
  6. (nautical) To run through, as in sailing.
  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]


See also[edit]