tow

1
[ toh ]
/ toʊ /
||

verb (used with object)

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

an act or instance of towing.
something being towed.
something, as a boat or truck, that tows.
a rope, chain, metal bar, or other device for towing: The trailer is secured to the car by a metal tow.

Idioms

    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.
    under tow, in the condition of being towed; in tow.

Origin of tow

1
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
SYNONYMS FOR tow
Related formstow·a·ble, adjectivetow·a·bil·i·ty, noun
Can be confusedtoe tow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in tow (1 of 2)

tow

1
/ (təʊ) /

verb

(tr) to pull or drag (a vehicle, boat, etc), esp by means of a rope or cable

noun

Derived Formstowable, adjective

Word Origin for tow

Old English togian; related to Old Frisian togia, Old Norse toga, Old High German zogōn

British Dictionary definitions for in tow (2 of 2)

tow

2
/ (təʊ) /

noun

the fibres of hemp, flax, jute, etc, in the scutched state
synthetic fibres preparatory to spinning
the coarser fibres discarded after combing
Derived Formstowy, adjective

Word Origin for tow

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

Idioms and Phrases with in tow (1 of 2)

in tow


In one's charge or close guidance; along with one. For example, The older girl took the new student in tow, or Peter always had his family in tow. This expression alludes to the literal meaning of being pulled along. [Early 1700s]

Idioms and Phrases with in tow (2 of 2)

tow


see in tow.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.