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[stoh] /stoʊ/
verb (used with object)
  1. to put (cargo, provisions, etc.) in the places intended for them.
  2. to put (sails, spars, gear, etc.) in the proper place or condition when not in use.
to put in a place or receptacle, as for storage or reserve; pack:
He stowed the potatoes in our cellar.
to fill (a place or receptacle) by packing:
to stow a carton with books.
to have or afford room for; hold.
Slang. to stop; break off:
Stow it! Stow the talk!
to put away, as in a safe or convenient place (often followed by away).
to lodge or quarter.
Verb phrases
stow away, to conceal oneself aboard a ship or other conveyance in order to obtain free transportation or to elude pursuers.
Origin of stow
1300-50; Middle English stowen, Old English stōwigan to keep, hold back (literally, to place), derivative of stōw place; akin to Old Norse eldstō fireplace, Gothic stojan to judge (literally, to place)
Related forms
stowable, adjective
restow, verb (used with object)


[stoh] /stoʊ/
a city in NE Ohio. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "stow that, Daisy, or I'll drive those teeth you're so proud of down your throat," said the tall wardswoman.

    Workhouse Characters Margaret Wynne Nevinson
  • stow all that, son,” he interrupted more tolerantly than was my due.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • It was lowered into the blubber-room between decks, where a couple of men were stationed to stow the blubber away.

    Fighting the Whales R.M. Ballantyne
  • They were standing by the spring motors to hoist and stow the anchors.

    Doctor Jones' Picnic S. E. Chapman
  • Could he stow himself on board a grab or gallivat, and try to swim ashore when near some friendly port?

    In Clive's Command Herbert Strang
  • To rummage means in the Elizabethan navigators to stow goods in a hold.

  • All were silent; for to stow all these things besides the four passengers, would be more dangerous than even the fifth person.

    The Kangaroo Hunters Anne Bowman
  • Get up bread and water, steward, and stow in them as much as you can with safety.

    Sunk at Sea R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for stow


verb (transitive)
(often foll by away) to pack or store
to fill by packing
(nautical) to pack or put away (cargo, sails and other gear, etc)
to have enough room for
(usually imperative) (Brit, slang) to cease from: stow your noise!, stow it!
Word Origin
Old English stōwian to keep, hold back, from stōw a place; related to Old High German stouwen to accuse, Gothic stōjan to judge, Old Slavonic staviti to place


John. 1525–1605, English antiquary, noted for his Survey of London and Westminster (1598; 1603)
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 stow

c.1300, verbal use of Old English noun stow "a place" (common in place names) from Proto-Germanic *stowijanan (cf. Old Frisian sto "place," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch stouwen "to stow," Old High German stouwen "to stop, check," German stauen "to stow"), from PIE *stau-, from root *sta- "to stand" (cf. Old Church Slavonic stavljo "to place," Lithuanian stoviu "to stand;" see stet). The nautical sense of "put away to be stored, pack" (1550s) was enforced by Dutch stouwen "to cram, pack up close." Related: Stowed; stowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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