• synonyms


[dou, doh]
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verb (used without object), dowed or dought [dout] /daʊt/, dow·ing. Scot. and North England.
  1. to be able.
  2. to thrive; prosper; do well.
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Origin of dow1

before 900; Middle English dowen, doghen, Old English dugan to be worthy; cognate with German taugen; cf. doughty


  1. dhow.
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or dau, dow

  1. any of various types of sailing vessels used by Arabs on the east African, Arabian, and Indian coasts, generally lateen-rigged on two or three masts.
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Origin of dhow

First recorded in 1795–1805, dhow is from the Arabic word dāwa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dows

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was the entrance of the Dows party, Miss Sally well to the fore.

  • The quarters were half a mile from the Dows' dwelling—which was two miles away.

  • A fire was now opened by the whole squadron, directed to the four dows.

  • His small office was in the rear of Mrs. Ely's residence which stood on the ground where the Dows and Ely block now is.

  • His small office was in the rear of Mrs. Ely's residence, which stood on the ground where the Dows & Ely block now is.

British Dictionary definitions for dows


  1. a lateen-rigged coastal Arab sailing vessel with one or two masts
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Word Origin

C19: from Arabic dāwa


  1. See Dou
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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

Word Origin and History for dows



1799, original language unknown, "single-masted native vessel used on Arabian Sea," later widely applied to all Arab vessels. Klein suggests a relation to Persian dav "running."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper