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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) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stowed away
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I did pretty well with the Scotchman, who has a heart, though it's stowed away in oatmeal, but this is home.

    Afloat And Ashore James Fenimore Cooper
  • That they were not stowed away aboard her seemed unquestionable.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • As for the brandy, of which there is only a quart now left, it has been stowed away safely in the stern of the raft.

  • I take it you have that Dain Maroola stowed away safely somewhere.

    Almayer's Folly Joseph Conrad
  • On his last journey with our goods he brought him, stowed away under the drivers seat.

    Insect Adventures J. Henri Fabre
  • No inspiration came to him; so that methodically he stowed away the facts for reference.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
  • “There are more of them stowed away above,” exclaimed Larry; and, leaving the room, he sprang up a rickety stair.

    The Missing Ship W. H. G. Kingston
  • stowed away in the further corner, as comf'table as if he was at the club, was Benny.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • The best guest-rooms are always reserved for the married: bachelors are stowed away comparatively "anywhere."

British Dictionary definitions for stowed away


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 stowed away



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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