- to pull or haul (a car, barge, trailer, etc.) by a rope, chain, or other device: The car was towed to the service station.
- an act or instance of towing.
- something being towed.
- something, as a boat or truck, that tows.
- a rope, chain, metal bar, or other device for towing: The trailer is secured to the car by a metal tow.
- ski tow.
- in tow,
- in the state of being towed.
- under one's guidance; in one's charge.
- as a follower, admirer, or companion: a professor who always had a graduate student in tow.
- under tow, in the condition of being towed; in tow.
Origin of tow1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- the fiber of flax, hemp, or jute prepared for spinning by scutching.
- the shorter, less desirable flax fibers separated from line fibers in hackling.
- synthetic filaments prior to spinning.
- made of tow.
Origin of tow2
- a rope.
Origin of tow3
- a U.S. Army antitank missile, steered to its target by two thin wires connected to a computerized launcher, which is mounted on a vehicle or helicopter.
Origin of TOW
Examples from the Web for tow
Trump even gave Jackson a personal tour of the venue, with television cameras in tow.I Watched a Casino Kill Itself: The Awful Last Nights of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal
December 8, 2014
The driver then got on the highway and started going "well above the speed limit," with the taxi inspector still in tow.The Ten Worst Uber Horror Stories
November 19, 2014
The rebels used, among other weapons, TOW missiles recently supplied by the U.S. to Harakat Hazm.The Battle for Aleppo: A Decisive Fight for ISIS, Assad, and the USA
October 25, 2014
The police vehicles take off from the parking lot with Booker and Fulop in tow.The Ugly Truth About Cory Booker, New Jersey’s Golden Boy
October 20, 2014
Send Obama to the American Medical Association and the National Medical Association with Murthy in tow to make the case.Where the Hell Is the Surgeon General?
Roland S. Martin
October 9, 2014
They behaved precisely as if I had a girl in tow and wanted to be left alone.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
But the frigate which had her in tow hove in stays, and got her round.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
Josie Lockwood rustles into hearing with Bessie Gabriel in tow.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
There was a tow which came out when it was swingled, called swingle tow.
Tow awoke with a start about four, and sprang to the window.The Inn at the Red Oak
- (tr) to pull or drag (a vehicle, boat, etc), esp by means of a rope or cable
- the act or an instance of towing
- the state of being towed (esp in the phrases in tow, under tow, on tow)
- something towed
- something used for towing
- in tow in one's charge or under one's influence
- informal (in motor racing, etc) the act of taking advantage of the slipstream of another car (esp in the phrase get a tow)
- short for ski tow
- the fibres of hemp, flax, jute, etc, in the scutched state
- synthetic fibres preparatory to spinning
- the coarser fibres discarded after combing
Word Origin and History for tow
"pull with a rope," Old English togian "to drag, pull," from Proto-Germanic *tugojanan (cf. Old English teon "to draw," Old Frisian togia "to pull about," Old Norse toga, Old High German zogon, German ziehen "to draw, pull, drag"), from PIE root *deuk- "to pull, draw" (cf. Latin ducere "to lead;" see duke (n.)). Related: Towed; towing. The noun meaning "act or fact of being towed" is recorded from 1620s. Towaway, in reference to parking zones, is recorded from 1956.
"coarse, broken fibers of flax, hemp, etc.," late 14c., probably from Old English tow- "spinning" (in towlic "fit for spinning"), perhaps cognate with Gothic taujan "to do, make," Middle Dutch touwen "to knit, weave."
Idioms and Phrases with tow
see in tow.