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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
plant/sow seeds (=put them in the soil)
▪ Sow the seeds in trays or pots.
sowed dissension
▪ This move sowed dissension within the party ranks.
▪ He sows seeds of confusion by way of a million opinions on every subject within its covers.
▪ This teaching was a boon to the married laity, but it sowed confusion among priests.
▪ If your review does not stop them, at least your rapier has sown confusion and dismay.
▪ Milosevic has granted piecemeal concessions while sowing the kind of confusion that he has used in the past to stymie opponents.
▪ It has sown confusion and anxiety among researchers by giving birth to the ambiguous concept of sensitive but unclassified research.
▪ And the editors seem to enjoy sowing that confusion.
▪ In short, to deny and stifle the understanding unnecessarily is to sow a crop of future doubts.
▪ The land is ploughed and then the seed is sown, the crop sprayed, the harvest taken, and so on.
▪ The Foundation has been delighted to be able to sow the seeds of international cooperation by supporting postgraduates.
▪ To some extent, the rally at the beginning of the year sowed the seeds for its own destruction.
▪ Groundwork Prepare a really fine seedbed and sow the seeds thinly to avoid unnecessary thinning.
▪ The giant Pangaean landmass sowed the seeds of its own destruction.
▪ We have already sown the seeds of what needs to be done to bring about job regeneration in my area.
▪ Even so, the repression of each revolt inspired later uprisings, sowing the seeds of future resistance.
▪ The global success of football has almost certainly sown the seeds for the game's corruption.
▪ We reap what we sow, and others close to us reap the results too.
▪ I respect those who have fallen bravely, but they have reaped what they have sown....
▪ In this sense farmers today are in danger of reaping the whirlwind sown by their forefathers.
▪ We are reaping what we have sown with a steadily more illiterate society immersed in trivia.
make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
Sow the seeds in rows about 20 centimetres apart.
▪ If you want an early crop, you should sow in September.
▪ Seeds of these plants are sown in moist sand.
▪ The ground was still too waterlogged for sowing rice.
▪ But even before Edward's time, seeds of dissension had been sown.
▪ For several months after seed is sown, nothing can be seen to show that there will be a harvest.
▪ In August, sow early carrots in a cold frame or greenhouse and keep covered during winter for pulling as needed.
▪ Of what may come hereafter For men who sow to reap.
▪ Other plants sown with the reeds absorb heavy metals and harmful bacteria.
▪ Slower varieties maturing in two months or more need to be sown in July to ensure a lengthy October harvest.
▪ They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed, and sometimes they reaped.
▪ They think they're wooing the masses; instead they're sowing the seeds of their comeuppance.
make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
you reap what you sow
▪ One of his sows is off colour.
▪ Soiled bedding is removed and fresh material is collected, by both boar and sow.
▪ The company has tested the mechanism on piglets reared by 300 sows on a farm near York.
▪ Violence always bringing back the old sow.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sow \Sow\, v. i. To sew. See Sew. [Obs.]


Sow \Sow\, v. i. To scatter seed for growth and the production of a crop; -- literally or figuratively.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joi.
--Ps. cxxvi. 5.


Sow \Sow\, v. t. [imp. Sowed; p. p. Sownor Sowed; p. pr. & vb. n. Sowing.] [OE. sowen, sawen, AS. s[=a]wan; akin to OFries. s?a, D. zaaijen, OS. & HG. s[=a]jan, G. s["a]en, Icel. s[=a], Sw. s[*a], Dan. saae, Goth. saian, Lith. s[=e]ti, Russ. sieiate, L. serere, sevi. Cf. Saturday, Season, Seed, Seminary.]

  1. To scatter, as seed, upon the earth; to plant by strewing; as, to sow wheat. Also used figuratively: To spread abroad; to propagate. ``He would sow some difficulty.''

    A sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside.
    --Matt. xiii. 3, 4.

    And sow dissension in the hearts of brothers.

  2. To scatter seed upon, in, or over; to supply or stock, as land, with seeds. Also used figuratively: To scatter over; to besprinkle.

    The intellectual faculty is a goodly field, . . . and it is the worst husbandry in the world to sow it with trifles.
    --Sir M. Hale.

    [He] sowed with stars the heaven.

    Now morn . . . sowed the earth with orient pearl.


Sow \Sow\, n. [OE. sowe, suwe, AS. sugu, akin to s[=u], D. zog, zeug, OHG. s[=u], G. sau, Icel. s[=y]r, Dan. so, Sw. sugga, so, L. sus. Gr. "y^s, sy^s, Zend. hu boar; probably from the root seen in Skr. s[=u] to beget, to bear; the animal being named in allusion to its fecundity. [root]294. Cf. Hyena, Soil to stain, Son, Swine.]

  1. (Zo["o]l.) The female of swine, or of the hog kind.

  2. (Zo["o]l.) A sow bug.

  3. (Metal.)

    1. A channel or runner which receives the rows of molds in the pig bed.

    2. The bar of metal which remains in such a runner.

    3. A mass of solidified metal in a furnace hearth; a salamander.

  4. (Mil.) A kind of covered shed, formerly used by besiegers in filling up and passing the ditch of a besieged place, sapping and mining the wall, or the like.

    Sow bread. (Bot.) See Cyclamen.

    Sow bug, or Sowbug (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of terrestrial Isopoda belonging to Oniscus, Porcellio, and allied genera of the family Oniscid[ae]. They feed chiefly on decaying vegetable substances.

    Sow thistle [AS. sugepistel] (Bot.), a composite plant ( Sonchus oleraceus) said to be eaten by swine and some other animals.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English sawan "to scatter seed upon the ground or plant it in the earth, disseminate" (class VII strong verb; past tense seow, past participle sawen), from Proto-Germanic *sean (cognates: Old Norse sa, Old Saxon saian, Middle Dutch sayen, Dutch zaaien, Old High German sawen, German säen, Gothic saian), from PIE root *se- (1) "to sow" (cognates: Latin sero, past tense sevi, past participle satum "to sow;" Old Church Slavonic sejo, sejati; Lithuanian seju, seti "to sow"), source of semen, season (n.), seed (n.), etc. Figurative sense was in Old English.


Old English sugu, su "female of the swine," from Proto-Germanic *su- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German su, German Sau, Dutch zeug, Old Norse syr), from PIE root *su- (cognates: Sanskrit sukarah "wild boar, swine;" Avestan hu "wild boar;" Greek hys "swine;" Latin sus "swine," swinus "pertaining to swine;" Old Church Slavonic svinija "swine;" Lettish sivens "young pig;" Welsh hucc, Irish suig "swine; Old Irish socc "snout, plowshare"), possibly imitative of pig noise, a notion reinforced by the fact that Sanskrit sukharah means "maker of (the sound) 'su.' " Related to swine. As a term of abuse for a woman, attested from c.1500. Sow-bug "hog louse" is from 1750.


Etymology 1 n. 1 A female pig. 2 A channel that conducts molten metal to molds. 3 A mass of metal solidify in a mold. 4 (context derogatory slang English) A contemptible, often fat woman. 5 A sowbug. 6 (context military English) A kind of covered shed, formerly used by besiegers in filling up and passing the ditch of a besieged place, sapping and mining the wall, etc. Etymology 2

vb. 1 (context transitive English) To scatter, disperse, or plant (seeds). 2 (context figurative English) To spread abroad; to propagate. 3 (context figurative English) To scatter over; to besprinkle.

  1. v. place (seeds) in or on the ground for future growth; "She sowed sunflower seeds" [syn: sough, seed]

  2. introduce into an environment; "sow suspicion or beliefs" [syn: sough]

  3. place seeds in or on (the ground); "sow the ground with sunflower seeds" [syn: inseminate, sow in]

  4. [also: sown]

  1. n. an adult female hog

  2. [also: sown]


Sow may refer

  • Sowing seed
  • Female animals: sow
    • Badger
    • Bear
    • Hedgehog
    • Guinea pig
    • Suidae (the pig family)
  • Shape in which cast metal is cast
  • Mobile shelter used during medieval sieges, described in siege tower#Medieval and later use
  • River Sow, England
  • "Sow", a poem by Sylvia Plath
  • Sow (band), the band/spoken word project comprising Anna Wildsmith
Sow (band)

Sow is the musical project of Anna Wildsmith, based in France. Raymond Watts, for a time Wildsmith's boyfriend, is also heavily involved in the production of Sow releases. Wildsmith has likewise appeared on numerous Pig albums, writing lyrics or performing vocals, such as the song "Cry Baby" from Genuine American Monster. Sow opened for Pigface on their Red Neck, White Trash And Blue Movie Tour in 1998, with Anna Wildsmith also taking the stage for part of the Pigface set. To date, Sow has released just three albums since its inception in 1989.

Usage examples of "sow".

This human cargo represents a weight of about twenty tons, which is equivalent to that of thirty persons, two boars, three sows, twelve piglets, thirty fowls, ten dogs, twenty rats, a hundred balled or potted breadfruit and banana plants, and twelve tons of watergourds, seeds, yams, tubers, coconuts, adzes and weapons.

Across the capital city, identical sounds and fragrances were rising from a hundred thousand chaukats as mothers blessed their husbands and firstborns and prayed for an auspicious start to the sowing season.

Lady Jessica and Arrakis, the Bene Gesserit system of sowing implant-legends through the Missionaria Protectiva came to its full fruition.

 In shock Liir fell against the fence, and the maddened Sow went for him, but Chyde, laughing, pulled the boy away in time.

But our crofters have not the tools nor the experience to sow the land.

But there were kopjes ahead, sown with fierce Dopper Boers, and those tempting wagons were only to be reached over their bodies.

Nought but sublimate and crude mercury, sir, well prepared and dulcified, with the jaw-bones of a sow, burnt, beaten, and searced.

Can you tell me how the Indian fakir can make himself to die and have been buried, and his grave sealed and corn sowed on it, and the corn reaped and be cut and sown and reaped and cut again, and then men come and take away the unbroken seal and that there lie the Indian fakir, not dead, but that rise up and walk amongst them as before?

Your Aunt and Harry Whent to the Wells Races and Spent a very Pleasant Day your Aunt has Lost Old Fanney Sow She Died about a Week a Go Harry he Wanted your Aunt to have her killed and send her to London and Shee Wold Fech her 11 pounds the Farmers have Lost a Greet Deal of Cattel such as Hogs and Cows What theay call the Plage I Whent to your Aunt as you Wish Mee to Do But She Told Mee She Did not wont aney Boddy She Told Mee She Should Like to Come up to see you But She Cant Come know for she is Boddyley ill and Harry Donte Work there know But he Go up there Once in Two or Three Day Harry Offered is self to Go up to Live With your Aunt But She Made him know Ancer.

I wish I could see some hope that their wantonly shed blood has sown seeds that will one day blossom, and bear a rich fruitage of benefit to mankind, but it saddens me beyond expression that I can not.

Shakespeare gathered the fruitage of all who went before him, he has sown the seeds for all who shall ever come after him.

Oracle Gompa at Yamdrok Tso several times to meet with the Sow and that the two are fast friends.

A great sow had been built, a ramming gyn covered with sturdy wood structured by iron and protected against fire with layers of clay.

De la Haye would often cry for joy when he saw me shedding tears caused by the contrition which he had had the wonderful cleverness to sow in my poor sickly soul.

Now therefore shall they and I together earn the merry days to come, the winter hunting and the spring sowing, the summer haysel, the ingathering of harvest, the happy rest of midwinter, and Yuletide with the memory of the Fathers, wedded to the hope of the days to be.