Main definitions of mow in English

: mow1mow2



  • 1 Cut down (an area of grass) with a machine.

    ‘Roger mowed the lawn’
    ‘the smell of newly mown grass’
    • ‘The results showed that mowing at 0.125 inches regardless of the bentgrass variety produced weaker, stressed plants.’
    • ‘As I walked up the freshly mowed lawn, I saw the usual sight.’
    • ‘Later that day I saw Kristen again while I was outside mowing the yard.’
    • ‘Is it newly mown grass, pies baking, or a favorite aunt's perfume?’
    • ‘Keep infants and young children away from newly mown grass.’
    • ‘The large park was neatly mown and the large trees provided a pleasant view from the road.’
    • ‘She sat there and watched as the sun settled on her newly mowed grass.’
    • ‘While we mowed the fairway, we'd make at least one pass around the green.’
    • ‘They did a wonderful job of keeping the greens neatly mowed and weeded.’
    • ‘I have a back room that I'm now living out of and the grounds are nicely mowed and clipped.’
    • ‘When they did sit down to eat, they were surrounded by the smell of newly mown grass.’
    • ‘I mowed my yard a few days ago and didn't wear a shirt.’
    • ‘Is your course manicured with tightly mown fairways, fast, firm greens and deep greenside bunkers?’
    • ‘Don't regularly mow the outer few feet of your lawn.’
    • ‘You also may want these firms to regularly mow and water your lawn.’
    • ‘Very princely of him to surprise her with a freshly mowed lawn.’
    • ‘Was it possible that even the most enterprising farmer could be mowing his meadows in March?’
    • ‘The grass verges were neatly mowed and the signage was good.’
    • ‘They wake up to note their freshly mowed lawn grew back while they slept.’
    • ‘It was a hot day and the windows were open and the smell of newly mown grass wafted in from the playing fields.’
    cut, cut down, scythe, shear, trim
    crop, clip
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1historical Cut down (grass or a cereal crop) with a scythe or a sickle.
      • ‘The illustrations in such medieval prayer books represented the work of the season: here a peasant mows a meadow.’
      • ‘The scythe has been used since Roman times to mow hay.’
      • ‘In the mosque courtyard, workers mowed grass, raked out brush and freshened up old flower beds with new green plants.’
      • ‘We know of several people who mow lawns with a scythe.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • mow someone down

    • 1Kill someone with a fusillade of bullets or other missiles.

      • ‘An army megaphone promises fair treatment for peaceful surrender; when the three comply, gunfire mows them down.’
      • ‘I screamed, firing back, emptying my weapon into the fleeing figures: mowing several down like scythed wheat.’
      • ‘On Friday, 20 guerrillas captured 8 policemen at a checkpoint near the city, took them to their offices, and mowed them down with gunfire.’
      • ‘With incredible skill, she took aim again and again, firing at the attackers, mowing them down like a harbinger of death.’
      • ‘You can't just start mowing down civilians to stop a mob.’
      • ‘It's about one of the prisoners who did escape as they were marched out there, blindfolded and put before mass graves, and they mowed them down and they buried them.’
      • ‘Then he ‘bared himself to the enemy’ an advancing German combat group-and mowed them down with enfilade fire.’
      • ‘It is not surprising that they were mown down by machine-gun fire.’
      • ‘The women turned to face the pit and the appellant mowed them down with the machine gun.’
      • ‘Multiple natives are mowed down by automatic gunfire.’
      • ‘Howling voices broke into the silence, and the Orcs swept across the land like a tornado, ready to mow down anything and everything that might stand in their way.’
      • ‘But as the paratroopers entered the main gateway to the Temple they were mown down.’
      • ‘There may have been a few more assassins along the way, but Chris was confident he could mow them down with ease.’
      • ‘The peacekeepers rushed out of the shuttle onto the planet, weapons drawn and ready to mow down any hostiles.’
      • ‘They can't shoot at you so mowing them down is even easier.’
      • ‘Convicted felons could be encouraged to run across a distance of, say, a hundred metres, while the marksmen took turns to mow them down.’
      • ‘If I had to spend our time constantly comforting them, they would mow us down with machine guns before you could say Big Bertha.’
      kill, gun down, shoot down, cut down, cut to pieces, butcher, slaughter, massacre, decimate, annihilate, exterminate, liquidate, wipe out, destroy
      blow away
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Recklessly knock someone down with a car or other vehicle.
        • ‘The road seemed clear when she crossed but suddenly a police van appeared, seemingly from nowhere, on the wrong side of the road and mowed her down.’
        • ‘The customer service worker said: ‘Not only could he have mown us down but he could have hurt other innocent victims as he drove like a maniac in the busy centre roads.’’
        • ‘I had to get away from the van that would mow me down in a second if I gave it the chance.’
        • ‘A hero who attempted to stop a thief stealing laptops from a college was killed after the would-be robber mowed him down in a car.’
        • ‘A road accident victim has died two years after the tragedy that left him comatose - but the man convicted of mowing him down will escape the maximum possible sentence 10 years.’
        • ‘His 80-year-old mother-in-law suffered a broken leg when a speeding car mowed her down last year.’
        • ‘The family of an interior designer mown down by a hit-and-run driver are urging witnesses to help police catch him.’
        • ‘Five other activists testified that the driver must have seen Corrie before mowing her down.’
        • ‘Example: you've just jumped out of the way of a speeding car, seconds before it might have mowed you down.’
        • ‘A father has described the horror of seeing his six-year-old boy mowed down by a hit-and-run driver.’


Old English māwan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch maaien, German mähen mow also to mead.

Main definitions of mow in English

: mow1mow2



North american
  • 1[often with modifier] A stack of hay, grain, or other similar crop.

    ‘the hay mow’
    • ‘And before night they'd finished threshing the whole mow of wheat.’
    • ‘Most often it was set up in a barn beside the mow of loose hay.’
    • ‘The main theme of his article was about how hay knives were used to cut sections from the stack or mow.’
    1. 1.1A place in a barn where a stack of hay or grain is put.
      • ‘If the moisture content of hay placed in the mow is below 26%, it is not likely that the temperature will rise beyond 65°C (150°F).’
      • ‘By July 15th or 20th, the hay was all stowed away in the barn mows.’
      • ‘The mow stores baled straw and hay for emergencies and provides insulation for the livestock area below.’
      • ‘The brick, gambrel-roof barn features ground-floor pens for calves and plenty of space for hay storage in the mow.’
      • ‘A small, freshly planked room below the straw mow was filled with oats, enough to last until next August.’
      • ‘Seventy and more years ago, loose hay for feed and straw for bedding were lifted into the mows by a system of knives and pulleys.’
      • ‘Here are the cats that live in the hay mow.’


Old English mūga; of unknown ultimate origin; compare with Swedish and Norwegian muga heap.