the act of leveling or cutting down grass, grain, etc., with a mowing machine or scythe.
the quantity of grass, grain, etc., cut in a specified period.

Nearby words

  1. moving target indicator,
  2. moving van,
  3. moving violation,
  4. movingly,
  5. moviola,
  6. mow down,
  7. mowat,
  8. mowburnt,
  9. mowdie,
  10. mowe

Origin of mowing

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at mow1, -ing1



verb (used with object), mowed, mowed or mown, mow·ing.

to cut down (grass, grain, etc.) with a scythe or a machine.
to cut grass, grain, etc., from: to mow the lawn.

verb (used without object), mowed, mowed or mown, mow·ing.

to cut down grass, grain, etc.

Verb Phrases

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

before 900; Middle English mowen, Old English māwan; cognate with German mähen


[mou, moh]

noun, verb (used without object), mowed, mow·ing. Archaic.




the place in a barn where hay, sheaves of grain, etc., are stored.
a heap or pile of hay or of sheaves of grain in a barn.

verb (used with object)

Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S. to store (hay) in a barn.

Origin of mow

before 900; Middle English mow(e), Old English mūwa, mūha, mūga; cognate with Old Norse mūgi swath



or mowe

[mou, moh]Archaic.


a wry or derisive grimace.

verb (used without object)

to make mows, mouths, or grimaces.

Origin of mow

1275–1325; Middle English mowe < Middle French moue lip, pout, Old French moe < Frankish; akin to Middle Dutch mouwe protruded lip Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mowing

British Dictionary definitions for mowing



verb mows, mowing, mowed, mowed or mown

to cut down (grass, crops, etc) with a hand implement or machine
(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




the part of a barn where hay, straw, etc, is stored
the hay, straw, etc, stored

Word Origin for mow

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



noun, verb

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 mowing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper