[ soh ]
/ soʊ /

verb (used with object), sowed, sown or sowed, sow·ing.

to scatter (seed) over land, earth, etc., for growth; plant.
to plant seed for: to sow a crop.
to scatter seed over (land, earth, etc.) for the purpose of growth.
to implant, introduce, or promulgate; seek to propagate or extend; disseminate: to sow distrust or dissension.
to strew or sprinkle with anything.

verb (used without object), sowed, sown or sowed, sow·ing.

to sow seed, as for the production of a crop.

Nearby words

  1. sovietologist,
  2. sovietology,
  3. soviets,
  4. sovkhoz,
  5. sovran,
  6. sow bug,
  7. sow one's wild oats,
  8. sow thistle,
  9. sow wild oats,
  10. sowback

Origin of sow

before 900; Middle English sowen, Old English sāwan; cognate with Dutch zaaien, German säen, Old Norse sā, Gothic saian; akin to seed, Latin sēmen seed, serere to sow

Related formssow·a·ble, adjectivesow·er, nounun·sowed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sowing

British Dictionary definitions for sowing


/ (səʊ) /

verb sows, sowing, sowed, sown or sowed

to scatter or place (seed, a crop, etc) in or on (a piece of ground, field, etc) so that it may growto sow wheat; to sow a strip of land
(tr) to implant or introduceto sow a doubt in someone's mind
Derived Formssowable, adjectivesower, noun

Word Origin for sow

Old English sāwan; related to Old Norse sā, Old High German sāen, Old Slavonic seja, Latin serere to sow


/ (saʊ) /


a female adult pig
the female of certain other animals, such as the mink
  1. the channels for leading molten metal to the moulds in casting pig iron
  2. iron that has solidified in these channels

Word Origin for sow

Old English sugu; related to Old Norse sӯr, Old High German sū, Latin sūs, Norwegian sugga, Dutch zeug: see swine

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 sowing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sowing


In addition to the idiom beginning with sow

  • sow one's wild oats

also see:

  • can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.