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or dau, dow

[dou] /daʊ/
any of various types of sailing vessels used by Arabs on the east African, Arabian, and Indian coasts, generally lateen-rigged on two or three masts.
Origin of dhow
1795-1805; < Arabic dāwa Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dhows
Historical Examples
  • A look-out, however, was kept, in case any of the Arab dhows should slip down the river.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
  • However, she formed a strong contrast to the Arab dhows by which she was surrounded.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
  • The morrow came, and three dhows left the harbour of Kilwa, hoisted their lateen sails, and steered northwards.

    Black Ivory R.M. Ballantyne
  • The dhows had not as yet, apparently, discovered that foes were at hand.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
  • Here he collects the slaves, and here the traders come twice a year with their dhows to carry them to market.

    The People Of The Mist H. Rider Haggard
  • Both the dhows were set on fire, that they might not fall into the hands of the Arabs.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
  • These, and a couple of Arab dhows, furnished our only break in a thousand miles.

  • The dhows were reached and their papers examined, then allowed to proceed if all was in order.

    Pan-Islam George Wyman Bury
  • If you were with me, we could make a grand fight of it, for these dhows seldom have more than four men aboard.

    In the grip of the Mullah F. S. Brereton
  • What becomes of the slaves that are liberated when the dhows are captured?

    The Penang Pirate John Conroy Hutcheson
British Dictionary definitions for dhows


a lateen-rigged coastal Arab sailing vessel with one or two masts
Word Origin
C19: from Arabic dāwa
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dhows



1799, original language unknown, "single-masted native vessel used on Arabian Sea," later widely applied to all Arab vessels. Klein suggests a relation to Persian dav "running."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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