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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English trowen, trouwen, treuwen, treowen, from Old English trēowan, trīewan (to trust) and Old English trūwian (to trust, confide), from Proto-Germanic *trewwāną (to trust) and Proto-Germanic *trūwāną (to trust); both from Proto-Indo-European *drew- (faithful, true). Akin to Scots trow, trew (to believe, trust, confide in, prove), Dutch trouwen (to wed, marry), German trauen (to trust, marry), Danish, Norwegian Bokmål and Swedish tro (to believe, think), Norwegian Nynorsk tru (to believe, think), Icelandic trúa (to trust, believe, believe in).


trow (third-person singular simple present trows, present participle trowing, simple past and past participle trowed)

  1. (archaic or dialectal) To trust or believe.
    • 1567, Arthur Golding: Ovid's Metamorphoses; Bk. 2 lines 527-9:
      ...Sure (he said) my wife shall never know
      Of this escape, and if she do, I know the worst I trow
      She can but chide, shall feare of chiding make me to forslow?
    • 1895, Kenneth Graham, The Golden Age, London, page 6:
      But was the matter allowed to end there? I trow not.
  2. (archaic or dialectal) To have confidence in, or to give credence to.


trow (usually uncountable, plural trows)

  1. (archaic or dialectal) Trust or faith.

Etymology 2[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


trow (countable and uncountable, plural trows)

  1. (dated, nautical, countable) Any of several flat-bottomed sailing boats used for fishing or for carrying bulk goods.
  2. (Scotland, dated) Troll.


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of tre