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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
tow
I.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
away
▪ Dozens of motorists faced fines of £100 to recover parked cars which were towed away.
▪ The blue hatchback was briefly searched in the parking lot, and then towed away by authorities.
▪ A feeble little hatchback in the Highlands deserves to be towed away.
▪ A final decision will be made once the stricken destroyer is towed away.
▪ Long queues had formed before the car was towed away by police.
▪ Four cars damaged in the pile up have been towed away for forensic tests.
▪ If they don't, they face having their caravans towed away.
▪ A word of warning: be careful not to park illegally as your vehicle is liable to be towed away.
■ NOUN
car
▪ Read in studio A driver who towed another car at a hundred miles an hour on a motorway has admitted reckless driving.
▪ This left only thirteen railcoaches in original condition, plus the ten trailer towing cars.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ The damaged ship was towed to the nearest port.
▪ The police had towed his car away because it was blocking the road.
▪ What's the speed limit for cars towing trailers?
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A final decision will be made once the stricken destroyer is towed away.
▪ He often towed it to Lake Whitney, near Waco.
▪ I towed her over to the muddy shore and flung her aboard Flupper.
▪ Power surfers are towed behind a jet-ski into massive oceanic swells that move too fast to catch by paddling conventional surfboards.
▪ The lifeguard boat offered to tow his board out through the pounding break.
▪ Their target was a specific spot where, earlier, a towed temperature probe had measured a spike of warm water.
▪ Their yacht was also towed in.
II.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ NOUN
line
▪ Grabbing at the Zodiac's tow line, he held himself against the river for a moment, getting his breath back.
▪ Having anchored your sledge you fix your tow line to the front hinge piece, using a karabiner.
▪ Then the moment came when the tow line was released and they savoured the eerie feeling of riding the rising thermals.
rope
▪ The tow rope sprang taut, plucking the dinghy clear as the swell broke, thundering forward on to the waiting coral.
▪ The boy Ezra was kneeling over the stern with the tow rope tangled in his hands.
▪ Ozzie Griffiths, in the car behind, was being pulled by a thirteen foot long tow rope.
▪ Loi was on the bow, keeping watch on the tow rope.
▪ We would have the tow rope ready when the fishing boat went past us.
▪ He felt the tug of the tow rope.
▪ Nick and I laid out tow ropes to the bow of the raft, and cajoled bystanders to lend a hand.
truck
▪ The tow truck eventually arrived three hours later, but broke down on the way to her fiance's home near Norwich.
▪ Or if you need help, they can dispatch a tow truck or whatever you need.
■ VERB
take
▪ And at the end of the session we were taken for a tow round the harbour.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ I seized the chance to ask for a tow, anything to get us clear of that suicidal place.
▪ In April 1986 our 29-year-old son met a lorry coming from the opposite direction with a very heavy utility trailer in tow.
▪ Many enjoy the festival so much that they return season after season, with spouses and children in tow.
▪ Sometimes they came alone, sometimes with a man in tow - to foot the bill!
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Tow

Tow \Tow\ (t[=o]), n. [OE. tow, AS. tow, akin to OD. touw, Icel. t[=o] a tuft of wool for spinning; cf. E. taw, v. t.] The coarse and broken part of flax or hemp, separated from the finer part by the hatchel or swingle.

Tow

Tow \Tow\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Towed (t[=o]d); p. pr. & vb. n. Towing.] [OE. towen, to[yogh]en; akin to OFries. toga to pull about, OHG. zog[=o]n, Icel. toga, AS. tohline a towline, and AS. te['o]n to draw, p. p. getogen. See Tug.] To draw or pull through the water, as a vessel of any kind, by means of a rope.

Tow

Tow \Tow\, n. [Cf. Icel. taug a rope, from the same root as E. tow, v. t.]

  1. A rope by which anything is towed; a towline, or towrope.

  2. The act of towing, or the state of being towed; -- chiefly used in the phrase, to take in tow, that is to tow.

  3. That which is towed, or drawn by a towline, as a barge, raft, collection of boats, ect.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
tow

"pull with a rope," Old English togian "to drag, pull," from Proto-Germanic *tugojanan (cognates: 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" (cognates: Latin ducere "to lead;" see duke (n.)). Related: Towed; towing.

tow

"the coarse, broken fibers of flax, hemp, etc., separated from the finer parts," late 14c., probably from Old English tow- "spinning" (in towlic "fit for spinning," tow-hus "spinning-room"), perhaps cognate with Gothic taujan "to do, make," Middle Dutch touwen "to knit, weave," from Proto-Germanic *taw- "to manufacture" (see taw (v.)).

tow

c.1600, "rope used in towing," from tow (v.). Meaning "act or fact of being towed" is from 1620s.

Wiktionary
tow

Etymology 1 n. 1 The act of towing and the condition of being towed. 2 Something, such as a tugboat, that tows. 3 Something, such as a barge, that is towed. 4 A rope or cable used in towing. vb. (context transitive English) To pull something behind one using a line or chain; to haul. Etymology 2

n. An untwisted bundle of fibers such as wikipedia:cellulose acetate, flax, hemp or jute.

WordNet
tow

n. the act of hauling something (as a vehicle) by means of a hitch or rope; "the truck gave him a tow to the garage" [syn: towage]

tow

v. drag behind; "Horses used to tow barges along the canal"

Wikipedia
Tow

In the composites industry, a tow is an untwisted bundle of continuous filaments, and it refers to man-made fibres, particularly carbon fibres (also called graphite). Tows are designated by the number of fibers they contain. For example, a 12K tow contains about 12,000 fibres.

In the textile industry, a tow is a coarse, broken fibre, removed during processing flax, hemp, or jute. Flax tows are often used as upholstery stuffing, and tows in general are frequently cut up to produce staple fibre.

Usage examples of "tow".

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE Harry went back aboard Bucephalas to assess the damage, with James and Matthew Caufield in tow.

The fairing for the towed array extended longitudinally aft from the leading edge of the sail to the stern.

With few wasted motions, Ake tied Ray to his line and then began towing him back toward the hatch.

Each was authorized to use as much time each day after regular working hours as he considered necessary to conduct his training, which would not be limited to docking and undocking, anchoring and unanchoring, but would include towing and being towed, fueling and provisioning while under way, and launch and recovery.

Only Temith would decide, not only to come back, but with a Belthasian guard and an Animist in tow.

Machen arrived, because his cell was detached from its position at a bay on the farthest spar of Idlewild and towed around the side of the station by Arachno service personnel, at the ends of their long lines.

The trader was towed clear of the inside harbour before being allowed to stretch sails, flanked by Imperial galleys that would provide escort crossing Aren Bay.

He squared his shoulders in the new blue livery, drew his whip downwards across the towing horse and out into the waters slipped the Colleen Bawn at a good four miles an hour.

Since this was a shore-to-shore operation mounted in Corsica, the men were lifted in beaching craft and LCPRs towed by motor launches.

The short drop downriver to the loading wharf at Woolwich passed off uneventfully, and Lieutenant Kaye by what miracle no one knew was there before them, and had bespoke a berth and loaders, even a launch to help tow and nudge the Biter in, all sail doused beforehand, no need for kedges, all smart and shipshape enough for the greatest stickler in the land.

It was five nights later, in fact, that Will and Sam saw the ship again, after Biter had limped to the Nore and then been towed by dockyard pull boats up to Deptford.

The list was now proclaimed to be full, and the gondolas were towed off, as before, towards the starting point, leaving the place beneath the stern of the Bucentaur, vacant.

Except by the time the county tow showed up to haul it away, neither Ennis Rafferty nor Curtis Wilcox believed it was a Buick at all.

Trooper Wilcox, he got about three-quarters of an hour with that Buick before the county tow showed up with its orange light flashing.

Curtis Wilcox squirming in his seat but never taking his eyes off the Buick being towed along in front of him.