- to cut down (grass, grain, etc.) with a scythe or a machine.
- to cut grass, grain, etc., from: to mow the lawn.
- to cut down grass, grain, etc.
- mow down,
- to destroy or kill indiscriminately or in great numbers, as troops in battle.
- to defeat, overwhelm, or overcome: The team mowed down its first four opponents.
- to knock down.
Origin of mow1
- (tr, adverb) to kill in large numbers, esp by gunfire
- to cut down (grass, crops, etc) with a hand implement or machine
- (tr) to cut the growing vegetation of (a field, lawn, etc)
- the part of a barn where hay, straw, etc, is stored
- the hay, straw, etc, stored
- an archaic word for grimace
Word Origin and History for mow down
Old English mawan "to mow" (class VII strong verb; past tense meow, past participle mawen), from Proto-Germanic *mæanan (cf. Middle Low German maeyen, Dutch maaien, Old High German maen, German mähen "to mow," Old English mæd "meadow"), from PIE root *me- "to mow, to cut down grass or grain with a sickle or scythe" (cf. poetic Greek amao, Latin metere "to reap, mow, crop," Italian mietere, Old Irish meithleorai "reapers," Welsh medi). Related: Mowed; mown; mowing.
"stack of hay," Old English muga, muwa "a heap, swath of corn, crowd of people," earlier muha, from Proto-Germanic *mugon (cf. Old Norse mugr "a heap," mostr "crowd"), of uncertain origin.
Idioms and Phrases with mow down
Destroy in great numbers, especially in battle, as in The machine gun mowed them down as they advanced. [Late 1500s]
Overwhelm, as in He mowed down the opposition with his arguments. This usage, like the first, alludes to mowing, the cutting of grass with a scythe or other implement.