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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[soh] /soʊ/
verb (used with object), sowed, sown or sowed, sowing.
to scatter (seed) over land, earth, etc., for growth; plant.
to plant seed for:
to sow a crop.
to scatter seed over (land, earth, etc.) for the purpose of growth.
to implant, introduce, or promulgate; seek to propagate or extend; disseminate:
to sow distrust or dissension.
to strew or sprinkle with anything.
verb (used without object), sowed, sown or sowed, sowing.
to sow seed, as for the production of a crop.
Origin of sow1
before 900; Middle English sowen, Old English sāwan; cognate with Dutch zaaien, German säen, Old Norse sā, Gothic saian; akin to seed, Latin sēmen seed, serere to sow
Related forms
sowable, adjective
sower, noun
unsowed, adjective
4. inject, lodge, circulate.


[sou] /saʊ/
an adult female swine.
the adult female of various other animals, as the bear.
  1. a large oblong mass of iron that has solidified in the common channel through which the molten metal flows to the smaller channels in which the pigs solidify.
  2. the common channel itself.
  3. a basin holding any of certain molten nonferrous metals to be cast.
before 900; Middle English sowe, Old English sugu; cognate with German Sau, Old Norse sȳr, Latin sūs, Greek hûs, Tocharian B suwo; see swine
Related forms
sowlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the land he was having broken (for he had teams breaking prairie in addition to the tractor) he had arranged to sow flaxseed.

    The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux
  • If she turns into another doll, then we will tell Mother, and she will give us her money to sow.

  • sow in August or September in a sheltered spot to stand the winter.

  • If you do not wish for the flower, the surest way is not to sow the seed.

    One Snowy Night Emily Sarah Holt
  • You're the only man I know who can convince the public that a sow's ear is really a silk purse, and you may have to do just that.

    Hail to the Chief Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for sow


verb sows, sowing, sowed, sown, sowed
to scatter or place (seed, a crop, etc) in or on (a piece of ground, field, etc) so that it may grow: to sow wheat, to sow a strip of land
(transitive) to implant or introduce: to sow a doubt in someone's mind
Derived Forms
sowable, adjective
sower, noun
Word Origin
Old English sāwan; related to Old Norse sā, Old High German sāen, Old Slavonic seja, Latin serere to sow


a female adult pig
the female of certain other animals, such as the mink
  1. the channels for leading molten metal to the moulds in casting pig iron
  2. iron that has solidified in these channels
Word Origin
Old English sugu; related to Old Norse sӯr, Old High German sū, Latin sūs, Norwegian sugga, Dutch zeug: see swine
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 sow

Old English sawan "to scatter seed upon the ground or plant it in the earth, disseminate" (class VII strong verb; past tense seow, past participle sawen), from Proto-Germanic *sean (cf. Old Norse sa, Old Saxon saian, Middle Dutch sayen, Dutch zaaien, Old High German sawen, German säen, Gothic saian), from PIE root *se- (1) "to sow" (cf. Latin sero, past tense sevi, past participle satum "to sow;" Old Church Slavonic sejo, sejati; Lithuanian seju, seti "to sow"), source of semen, season (n.), seed (n.), etc. Figurative sense was in Old English.


Old English sugu, su "female of the swine," from Proto-Germanic *su- (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German su, German Sau, Dutch zeug, Old Norse syr), from PIE root *su- (cf. Sanskrit sukarah "wild boar, swine;" Avestan hu "wild boar;" Greek hys "swine;" Latin sus "swine," swinus "pertaining to swine;" Old Church Slavonic svinija "swine;" Lettish sivens "young pig;" Welsh hucc, Irish suig "swine; Old Irish socc "snout, plowshare"), possibly imitative of pig noise, a notion reinforced by the fact that Sanskrit sukharah means "maker of (the sound) 'su.' " Related to swine. As a term of abuse for a woman, attested from c.1500. Sow-bug "hog louse" is from 1750.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for sow


statement of work
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with sow


In addition to the idiom beginning with sow also see: can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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