- 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.
- to transport by scow.
Origin of scow
1660–70, Americanism; < Dutch schouw ferryboat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for scow
We took the rapids broadside on, but the scow was light and very strong.
All at once I saw directly in front a scow struggling to make the shore.
I saw the man jump out with a rope and try to snub the scow to a tree.
The long painter of the scow had been extended over, and fastened to, the three boats.
There will be time enough then to load the scow, and reach the island by daylight.
- an unpowered barge used for freight; lighter
- (esp in the midwestern US) a sailing yacht with a flat bottom, designed to plane
C18: via Dutch schouw from Low German schalde, related to Old Saxon skaldan to push (a boat) into the sea
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