[ skou ]
/ skaʊ /


any of various vessels having a flat-bottomed rectangular hull with sloping ends, built in various sizes with or without means of propulsion, as barges, punts, rowboats, or sailboats.
Eastern U.S. a barge carrying bulk material in an open hold.
an old or clumsy boat; hulk; tub.

verb (used with object)

to transport by scow.

Nearby words

  1. scouth,
  2. scouthood,
  3. scouting,
  4. scoutingly,
  5. scoutmaster,
  6. scowl,
  7. scowler,
  8. scozza,
  9. scp,
  10. scpo

Origin of scow

1660–70, Americanism; < Dutch schouw ferryboat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scow

British Dictionary definitions for scow


/ (skaʊ) /


an unpowered barge used for freight; lighter
(esp in the midwestern US) a sailing yacht with a flat bottom, designed to plane

Word Origin for scow

C18: via Dutch schouw from Low German schalde, related to Old Saxon skaldan to push (a boat) into the sea

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 scow



"large flat-bottomed boat," 1780, from Dutch schouw "a ferry boat, punt," from Middle Dutch scouwe, related to Old English scaldan, Old Saxon scaldan "to push (a boat) from shore."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper