See more synonyms for stow on
verb (used with object)
  1. Nautical.
    1. to put (cargo, provisions, etc.) in the places intended for them.
    2. to put (sails, spars, gear, etc.) in the proper place or condition when not in use.
  2. to put in a place or receptacle, as for storage or reserve; pack: He stowed the potatoes in our cellar.
  3. to fill (a place or receptacle) by packing: to stow a carton with books.
  4. to have or afford room for; hold.
  5. Slang. to stop; break off: Stow it! Stow the talk!
  6. to put away, as in a safe or convenient place (often followed by away).
  7. to lodge or quarter.
Verb Phrases
  1. stow away, to conceal oneself aboard a ship or other conveyance in order to obtain free transportation or to elude pursuers.

Origin of stow

1300–50; Middle English stowen, Old English stōwigan to keep, hold back (literally, to place), derivative of stōw place; akin to Old Norse eldstō fireplace, Gothic stojan to judge (literally, to place)
Related formsstow·a·ble, adjectivere·stow, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for stowed

secrete, stash, tuck, load, bundle, stuff, deposit, warehouse, pack

Examples from the Web for stowed

Contemporary Examples of stowed

Historical Examples of stowed

  • The foresail was brailed, and the foot stopped, and the flying-jib was stowed.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • That they were not stowed away aboard her seemed unquestionable.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • The little boys were up and stowed here and there waiting for breakfast.

  • It had been thought too good to be used, and had been stowed aside in the library.

  • Becky, she counted the cash and stowed it away in her apron pocket.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for stowed


verb (tr)
  1. (often foll by away) to pack or store
  2. to fill by packing
  3. nautical to pack or put away (cargo, sails and other gear, etc)
  4. to have enough room for
  5. (usually imperative) British slang to cease fromstow your noise!; stow it!

Word Origin for stow

Old English stōwian to keep, hold back, from stōw a place; related to Old High German stouwen to accuse, Gothic stōjan to judge, Old Slavonic staviti to place


  1. John. 1525–1605, English antiquary, noted for his Survey of London and Westminster (1598; 1603)
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 stowed



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper