- 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.
- to sow seed, as for the production of a crop.
Origin of sow1
- an adult female swine.
- the adult female of various other animals, as the bear.
- a large oblong mass of iron that has solidified in the common channel through which the molten metal flows to the smaller channels in which the pigs solidify.
- the common channel itself.
- a basin holding any of certain molten nonferrous metals to be cast.
Origin of sow2
Examples from the Web for sows
A horse and mare, a boar and two sows, and a goat with kid were likewise given to him.Captain Cook
Silvestro sows his seed in two places and they all go off to Mass.Diversions in Sicily
H. Festing Jones
She had, however, only thirteen chests of eight and fourteen sows of silver.How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves
For here the proverb holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.'The Children's Bible
Henry A. Sherman
But surely there would not be wild boars and sows in an island like this?Jack at Sea
George Manville Fenn
- 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
- a female adult pig
- the female of certain other animals, such as the mink
- the channels for leading molten metal to the moulds in casting pig iron
- iron that has solidified in these channels
Word Origin and History for sows
Old English sawan "to scatter seed upon the ground or plant it in the earth, disseminate" (class VII strong verb; past tense seow, past participle sawen), from Proto-Germanic *sean (cf. Old Norse sa, Old Saxon saian, Middle Dutch sayen, Dutch zaaien, Old High German sawen, German säen, Gothic saian), from PIE root *se- (1) "to sow" (cf. Latin sero, past tense sevi, past participle satum "to sow;" Old Church Slavonic sejo, sejati; Lithuanian seju, seti "to sow"), source of semen, season (n.), seed (n.), etc. Figurative sense was in Old English.
Old English sugu, su "female of the swine," from Proto-Germanic *su- (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German su, German Sau, Dutch zeug, Old Norse syr), from PIE root *su- (cf. Sanskrit sukarah "wild boar, swine;" Avestan hu "wild boar;" Greek hys "swine;" Latin sus "swine," swinus "pertaining to swine;" Old Church Slavonic svinija "swine;" Lettish sivens "young pig;" Welsh hucc, Irish suig "swine; Old Irish socc "snout, plowshare"), possibly imitative of pig noise, a notion reinforced by the fact that Sanskrit sukharah means "maker of (the sound) 'su.' " Related to swine. As a term of abuse for a woman, attested from c.1500. Sow-bug "hog louse" is from 1750.
Idioms and Phrases with sows
In addition to the idiom beginning with sow
- sow one's wild oats
- can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear