tow

1 [toh]
verb (used with object)
1.
to pull or haul (a car, barge, trailer, etc.) by a rope, chain, or other device: The car was towed to the service station.
noun
2.
an act or instance of towing.
3.
something being towed.
4.
something, as a boat or truck, that tows.
5.
a rope, chain, metal bar, or other device for towing: The trailer is secured to the car by a metal tow.
Idioms
7.
in tow,
a.
in the state of being towed.
b.
under one's guidance; in one's charge.
c.
as a follower, admirer, or companion: a professor who always had a graduate student in tow.
8.
under tow, in the condition of being towed; in tow.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English towen (v.), Old English togian to pull by force, drag; cognate with Middle High German zogen to draw, tug, drag. See tug

towable, adjective
towability, noun


1. trail, draw, tug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

tow

2 [toh]
noun
1.
the fiber of flax, hemp, or jute prepared for spinning by scutching.
2.
the shorter, less desirable flax fibers separated from line fibers in hackling.
3.
synthetic filaments prior to spinning.
adjective
4.
made of tow.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English; Old English tōw- (in tōwlīc pertaining to thread, tōwhūs spinning house); akin to Old Norse wool

tow

3 [toh]
noun Scot.
a rope.

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English (Scots); Old English toh- (in tohlīne towline); cognate with Old Norse tog towline. See tow1

TOW

[toh]
noun
a U.S. Army antitank missile, steered to its target by two thin wires connected to a computerized launcher, which is mounted on a vehicle or helicopter.

Origin:
t(ube-launched,) o(ptically-guided,) w(ire-tracked missile)

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
tow1 (təʊ)
 
vb
1.  (tr) to pull or drag (a vehicle, boat, etc), esp by means of a rope or cable
 
n
2.  the act or an instance of towing
3.  the state of being towed (esp in the phrases in tow, under tow, on tow)
4.  something towed
5.  something used for towing
6.  in tow in one's charge or under one's influence
7.  informal (in motor racing, etc) the act of taking advantage of the slipstream of another car (esp in the phrase get a tow)
8.  short for ski tow
 
[Old English togian; related to Old Frisian togia, Old Norse toga, Old High German zogōn]
 
'towable1
 
adj

tow2 (təʊ)
 
n
1.  the fibres of hemp, flax, jute, etc, in the scutched state
2.  synthetic fibres preparatory to spinning
3.  the coarser fibres discarded after combing
 
[Old English tōw; related to Old Saxon tou, Old Norse tuft of wool, Dutch touwen to spin]
 
'towy2
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tow
"pull with a rope," O.E. togian "to drag, pull," from P.Gmc. *tugojanan (cf. O.E. teon "to draw," O.Fris. togia "to pull about," O.N. toga, O.H.G. zogon, Ger. ziehen "to draw, pull, drag"), from PIE base *deuk- "to pull, draw" (cf. L. ducere "to lead;" see duke). The noun meaning
"act or fact of being towed" is recorded from 1622. Towaway, in ref. to parking zones, is recorded from 1956.

tow
"coarse, broken fibers of flax, hemp, etc.," late 14c., probably from O.E. tow- "spinning" (in towlic "fit for spinning"), perhaps cognate with Gothic taujan "to do, make," M.Du. touwen "to knit, weave." Tow-head, in ref. to tousled blond hair, is recorded from 1830.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Tow definition


(Judg. 16:9). See FLAX.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tow

see in tow.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
When the tow truck arrived, the driver discovered he couldn't pull the van to safety.
As a result, the contortions required to latch onto the tow often end in
  disaster.
In this way, subs can set up their own acoustic networks without the need to
  tow an antenna.
Typically, they traveled by luxury steamer and coach, with servants and trunks
  in tow.
Idioms & Phrases
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