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tow1

[toh] /toʊ/
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.
6.
Idioms
7.
in tow,
  1. in the state of being towed.
  2. under one's guidance; in one's charge.
  3. 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
1000
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
Related forms
towable, adjective
towability, noun
Synonyms
1. trail, draw, tug.

tow2

[toh] /toʊ/
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

tow3

[toh] /toʊ/
noun, Scot.
1.
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] /toʊ/
noun
1.
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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Examples from the web for tow
  • 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.
  • Two axes lie on the deck at the bow where they were dropped after the crew cut away a barge in tow.
  • Nor is it a conspiracy when people are told they'll be sacked if they don't tow the party line.
  • But for the tow companies that serve them, the benefits are less obvious.
  • If you are sufficiently experienced, you can also tow in your own craft.
  • It is also a relief to know that there will be no charge for the tow.
  • Inflation only reduces debt burdens if nominal wages rise in tow.
British Dictionary definitions for tow

tow1

/təʊ/
verb
1.
(transitive) to pull or drag (a vehicle, boat, etc), esp by means of a rope or cable
noun
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
Derived Forms
towable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English togian; related to Old Frisian togia, Old Norse toga, Old High German zogōn

tow2

/təʊ/
noun
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
Derived Forms
towy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English tōw; related to Old Saxon tou, Old Norse tuft of wool, Dutch touwen to spin
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 tow
v.

"pull with a rope," Old English togian "to drag, pull," from Proto-Germanic *tugojanan (cf. Old English teon "to draw," Old Frisian togia "to pull about," Old Norse toga, Old High German zogon, German ziehen "to draw, pull, drag"), from PIE root *deuk- "to pull, draw" (cf. Latin ducere "to lead;" see duke (n.)). Related: Towed; towing. The noun meaning "act or fact of being towed" is recorded from 1620s. Towaway, in reference to parking zones, is recorded from 1956.

n.

"coarse, broken fibers of flax, hemp, etc.," late 14c., probably from Old English tow- "spinning" (in towlic "fit for spinning"), perhaps cognate with Gothic taujan "to do, make," Middle Dutch touwen "to knit, weave."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tow in the Bible

(Judg. 16:9). See FLAX.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with tow

tow

see: in tow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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6
6
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