- to put (cargo, provisions, etc.) in the places intended for them.
- to put (sails, spars, gear, etc.) in the proper place or condition when not in use.
- to put in a place or receptacle, as for storage or reserve; pack: He stowed the potatoes in our cellar.
- to fill (a place or receptacle) by packing: to stow a carton with books.
- to have or afford room for; hold.
- Slang. to stop; break off: Stow it! Stow the talk!
- to put away, as in a safe or convenient place (often followed by away).
- to lodge or quarter.
- stow away, to conceal oneself aboard a ship or other conveyance in order to obtain free transportation or to elude pursuers.
Origin of stow
- (often foll by away) to pack or store
- to fill by packing
- nautical to pack or put away (cargo, sails and other gear, etc)
- to have enough room for
- (usually imperative) British slang to cease fromstow your noise!; stow it!
Word Origin for stow
- John. 1525–1605, English antiquary, noted for his Survey of London and Westminster (1598; 1603)
c.1300, verbal use of Old English noun stow "a place" (common in place names) from Proto-Germanic *stowijanan (cf. Old Frisian sto "place," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch stouwen "to stow," Old High German stouwen "to stop, check," German stauen "to stow"), from PIE *stau-, from root *sta- "to stand" (cf. Old Church Slavonic stavljo "to place," Lithuanian stoviu "to stand;" see stet). The nautical sense of "put away to be stored, pack" (1550s) was enforced by Dutch stouwen "to cram, pack up close." Related: Stowed; stowing.