Definition of scow in English:



North American
  • 1A wide-beamed sailing dinghy.

    • ‘A month later, their wooden scow was found floating right side up at the western end of the Canyon, sans the Hydes.’
    • ‘Near the end of a trip down the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories 30 years ago, my former wife and I encountered a lone man in a scow.’
    • ‘When break-up came at the end of May, he floated out the 1500 miles to the Pacific on a scow, and worked his way home stoking coal on a steamship.’
    1. 1.1 A flat-bottomed boat used for transporting cargo to and from ships in harbour.
      • ‘Waterways, travelled by steamer and scow, were far more available for transport in this area of the province than in the south.’
      • ‘It is not known how many scows, barges, and other vessels were involved in transporting brownstone.’
      • ‘Many small wharves were built for the scows which collected the products of the mills.’


Mid 17th century: from Dutch schouw ‘ferry boat’.