- 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
Related Words for stow awaypreserve, hoard, defer, withhold, maintain, retain, save, stockpile, manage, keep, collect, spare, conserve, store, sell, handle, provide, carry, equip, furnish
- (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.
Put aside or store something until needed, as in We generally stow away the lawn furniture in the toolshed. [Late 1700s]
Hide oneself aboard ship or in a vehicle in order to get free transportation, as in The youngsters planned to stow away on a freighter but they never even got to the waterfront. This usage gave rise to the noun stowaway. [Mid-1800s]
Greedily consume food or drink, as in Bob sure can stow away a lot in a short time. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]