mow

1
[moh]
See more synonyms for mow on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), mowed, mowed or mown, mow·ing.
  1. to cut down (grass, grain, etc.) with a scythe or a machine.
  2. to cut grass, grain, etc., from: to mow the lawn.
verb (used without object), mowed, mowed or mown, mow·ing.
  1. to cut down grass, grain, etc.
Verb Phrases
  1. mow down,
    1. to destroy or kill indiscriminately or in great numbers, as troops in battle.
    2. to defeat, overwhelm, or overcome: The team mowed down its first four opponents.
    3. to knock down.

Origin of mow

1
before 900; Middle English mowen, Old English māwan; cognate with German mähen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


British Dictionary definitions for mow down

mow down

verb
  1. (tr, adverb) to kill in large numbers, esp by gunfire

mow

1
verb mows, mowing, mowed, mowed or mown
  1. to cut down (grass, crops, etc) with a hand implement or machine
  2. (tr) to cut the growing vegetation of (a field, lawn, etc)
Derived Formsmower, noun

Word Origin for mow

Old English māwan; related to Old High German māen, Middle Dutch maeyen to mow, Latin metere to reap, Welsh medi

mow

2
noun
  1. the part of a barn where hay, straw, etc, is stored
  2. the hay, straw, etc, stored

Word Origin for mow

Old English mūwa; compare Old Norse mūgr heap, Greek mukōn

mow

3
noun, verb
  1. an archaic word for grimace

Word Origin for mow

C14: from Old French moe a pout, or Middle Dutch mouwe
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 mow down

mow

v.

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.

mow

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with mow down

mow down

1

Destroy in great numbers, especially in battle, as in The machine gun mowed them down as they advanced. [Late 1500s]

2

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.

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