• synonyms


See more synonyms for taw on Thesaurus.com
  1. a choice or fancy marble used as a shooter.
  2. a game in which marbles are arranged in the center of a circle drawn or scratched on the ground, the object being to knock out as many as possible from the circle; ringer.
  3. Also taw line. the line from which the players shoot.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to shoot a marble.
Show More

Origin of taw1

First recorded in 1700–10; origin uncertain


verb (used with object)
  1. to prepare or dress (some raw material) for use or further manipulation.
  2. to transform the skin of an animal into white leather by the application of minerals, emulsions, etc.
  3. Archaic. to flog; thrash.
Show More

Origin of taw2

before 900; Middle English tawen, Old English tawian; cognate with Dutch touwen, Gothic taujan
Related formstaw·er, noun


[tahv, tawv, tahf, tawf]
  1. tav.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for taw

Historical Examples

  • After the first shot, every player must shoot from the place at which his taw rests.

    The Book of Sports:

    William Martin

  • I'm hanging on to his taw now for the past fortnight and I can't get a penny out of him.


    James Joyce

  • Hall, on the Taw, is the fine mansion of the Chichester family.

  • Whoever first gets back to the starting-point, or taw, wins.

  • Brightly belonged to the Torridge and Taw branch of the family.

    Furze the Cruel

    John Trevena

British Dictionary definitions for taw


  1. the line from which the players shoot in marbles
  2. back to taws Australian informal back to the beginning
  3. a large marble used for shooting
  4. a game of marbles
Show More

Word Origin

C18: of unknown origin


verb (tr)
  1. to convert (skins) into white leather by treatment with mineral salts, such as alum and salt, rather than by normal tanning processes
  2. archaic, or dialect to flog; beat
Show More
Derived Formstawer, noun

Word Origin

Old English tawian; compare Old High German zouwen to prepare, Gothic taujan to make
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 taw


"to prepare" (leather), from Old English tawian "to do, make," from Proto-Germanic *tawojan (cf. Old Frisian tawa, Old Saxon toian, Middle Dutch tauwen, Dutch touwen, Old High German zouwen "to prepare," Old High German zawen "to succeed," Gothic taujan "to make, prepare"), probably related to the root of Old English tol "tool" (see tool).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper