9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[trawl] /trɔl/
Also called trawl net. a strong fishing net for dragging along the sea bottom.
Also called trawl line. a buoyed line used in sea fishing, having numerous short lines with baited hooks attached at intervals.
verb (used without object)
to fish with a net that drags along the sea bottom to catch the fish living there.
to fish with a trawl line.
to troll.
verb (used with object)
to catch with a trawl net or a trawl line.
to drag (a trawl net).
to troll.
Origin of trawl
1475-85; < Middle Dutch tragel (noun), tragelen (v.); cognate with trail
Related forms
trawlable, adjective
trawlability, noun
Can be confused
trawl, troll. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for trawl
  • They order the results by price and trawl through the list until they have spent their allowance.
  • Many have been snared by gill and trawl nets with only a few hundred surviving.
  • The second unknown squid lost its tentacles in the trawl net.
  • It is too large for scientists to trawl the entire surface.
  • Restaurants and hotels are having to trawl for staff all over the world.
  • Some of its workers, they maintain, find it easier to crib names from the phone book than to trawl around looking for real voters.
  • They'd stop to go to the opera and trawl for antiques.
  • The system would also trawl local news reports for similar cases.
  • Clearly, they help to stimulate discussion and marshal action, and they let governments trawl for and test proposals.
  • But particular industries have other reasons for broadening their recruitment trawl.
British Dictionary definitions for trawl


noun (fishing:Sea)
Also called trawl net. a large net, usually in the shape of a sock or bag, drawn at deep levels behind special boats (trawlers)
Also called trawl line. a long line to which numerous shorter hooked lines are attached, suspended between buoys See also setline, trotline
the act of trawling
(fishing:Sea) to catch or try to catch (fish) with a trawl net or trawl line
(fishing:Sea) (transitive) to drag (a trawl net) or suspend (a trawl line)
(intransitive) foll by for. to seek or gather (something, such as information, or someone, such as a likely appointee) from a wide variety of sources
noun, verb
(angling) another word for troll1
Word Origin
C17: from Middle Dutch traghelen to drag, from Latin trāgula dragnet; see trail
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 trawl

1560s, from Dutch tragelen, from Middle Dutch traghelen "to drag," from traghel "dragnet," probably from Latin tragula "dragnet." Related: Trawled; trawling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trawl in Technology

To sift through large volumes of data (e.g. Usenet postings, FTP archives, or the Jargon File) looking for something of interest. [Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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