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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for under 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 under tow
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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under tow in the Bible

(Judg. 16:9). See FLAX.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with under 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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