What does plough mean?

Definitions for plough

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word plough.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Big Dipper, Dipper, Plough, Charles's Wain, Wain, Wagonnoun

    a group of seven bright stars in the constellation Ursa Major

  2. plow, ploughverb

    a farm tool having one or more heavy blades to break the soil and cut a furrow prior to sowing

  3. plow, ploughverb

    move in a way resembling that of a plow cutting into or going through the soil

    "The ship plowed through the water"

  4. plow, plough, turnverb

    to break and turn over earth especially with a plow

    "Farmer Jones plowed his east field last week"; "turn the earth in the Spring"


  1. ploughnoun

    A device pulled through the ground in order to break it open into furrows for planting.

    The horse-drawn plough had a tremendous impact on agriculture.

  2. ploughnoun

    A horse-drawn plow (as opposed to plow, used for the mechanical variety)

  3. ploughnoun

    An alternative name for Ursa Major or the Great Bear.

  4. ploughverb

    To use a plough on to prepare for planting.

    I've still got to plough that field.

  5. ploughverb

    To use a plough.

    Some days I have to plough from sunrise to sunset.

  6. ploughverb

    to fuck, to have sex with.

  7. ploughverb

    To move with force.

  8. Ploughnoun

    The common name for the brightest seven stars of the constellation Ursa Major.

  9. Etymology: From plouh, plow, plouw, from ploh and plógr, both from plōgaz. Cognate with pleuch, plou, ploege, plog, ploeg, Ploog, Pflug, plov, plóg. Replaced sulh; see sullow.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PLOUGHnoun

    Etymology: plog , Saxon; plog, Danish; ploegh, Dutch.

    Look how the purple flower, which the plough
    Hath shorn in sunder, languishing doth die. Henry Peacham.

    Some ploughs differ in the length and shape of their beams; some in the share, others in the coulter and handles. John Mortimer.

    In ancient times the sacred plough employ’d
    The kings and awful fathers. James Thomson.

  2. To Ploughverb

    Let the Volscians
    Plough Rome and harrow Italy. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Shou’d any slave, so lewd, belong to you?
    No doubt you’d send the rogue, in fetters bound,
    To work in bridewell, or to plough your ground. Dryden.

    A man may plough, in stiff grounds the first time fallowed, an acre a day. John Mortimer.

    You find it ploughed into ridges and furrows. John Mortimer.

    Another of a dusky colour, near black; there are of these frequently ploughed up in the fields of Weldon. John Woodward.

    When the prince her fun’ral rites had paid,
    He plough’d the Tyrrhene seas with sails display’d. Addis.

    With speed we plough the watry way,
    My power shall guard thee. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
    With her prepared nails. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopatra.

  3. To Ploughverb

    To practise aration; to turn up the ground in order to sow seed.

    Rebellion, insolence, sedition
    We ourselves have plough’d for, sow’d and scatter’d,
    By mingling them with us. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Doth the ploughman plough all day to sow? Is. xxviii. 24.

    They only give the land one ploughing, and sow white oats, and harrow them as they do black. John Mortimer.


  1. Plough

    A plough or plow (US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing seed or planting. Ploughs were traditionally drawn by oxen and horses, but in modern farms are drawn by tractors. A plough may have a wooden, iron or steel frame, with a blade attached to cut and loosen the soil. It has been fundamental to farming for most of history. The earliest ploughs had no wheels; such a plough was known to the Romans as an aratrum. Celtic peoples first came to use wheeled ploughs in the Roman era.The prime purpose of ploughing is to turn over the uppermost soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface while burying weeds and crop remains to decay. Trenches cut by the plough are called furrows. In modern use, a ploughed field is normally left to dry and then harrowed before planting. Ploughing and cultivating soil evens the content of the upper 12 to 25 centimetres (5 to 10 in) layer of soil, where most plant-feeder roots grow. Ploughs were initially powered by humans, but the use of farm animals was considerably more efficient. The earliest animals worked were oxen. Later, horses and mules were used in many areas. With the industrial revolution came the possibility of steam engines to pull ploughs. These in turn were superseded by internal-combustion-powered tractors in the early 20th century. Use of the traditional plough has decreased in some areas threatened by soil damage and erosion. Used instead is shallower ploughing or other less-invasive conservation tillage.


  1. plough

    A plough is a large farming tool with one or more blades, used for digging into the soil and turning it over to prepare it for the planting of seeds. It can be pulled by animals like horses or oxen or can be tractor-mounted in modern farming. It is an essential tool in agriculture for initial cultivation which helps to aerate the soil and to bury crop residue.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Plough

    see Plow

  2. Ploughnoun

    a well-known implement, drawn by horses, mules, oxen, or other power, for turning up the soil to prepare it for bearing crops; also used to furrow or break up the soil for other purposes; as, the subsoil plow; the draining plow

  3. Ploughnoun

    fig.: Agriculture; husbandry

  4. Ploughnoun

    a carucate of land; a plowland

  5. Ploughnoun

    a joiner's plane for making grooves; a grooving plane

  6. Ploughnoun

    an implement for trimming or shaving off the edges of books

  7. Ploughnoun

    same as Charles's Wain

  8. Ploughverb

    to turn up, break up, or trench, with a plow; to till with, or as with, a plow; as, to plow the ground; to plow a field

  9. Ploughverb

    to furrow; to make furrows, grooves, or ridges in; to run through, as in sailing

  10. Ploughverb

    to trim, or shave off the edges of, as a book or paper, with a plow. See Plow, n., 5

  11. Ploughnoun

    to cut a groove in, as in a plank, or the edge of a board; especially, a rectangular groove to receive the end of a shelf or tread, the edge of a panel, a tongue, etc

  12. Ploughverb

    to labor with, or as with, a plow; to till or turn up the soil with a plow; to prepare the soil or bed for anything

  13. Etymology: [OE. plouh, plou, AS. plh; akin to D. ploeg, G. pflug, OHG. pfluog, pfluoh, Icel. plgr, Sw. plog, Dan. ploug, plov, Russ. plug', Lith. plugas.]


  1. Plough

    The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting to loosen or turn the soil. Ploughs are drawn either by bullocks or other animals such as horses or camels or through a tractor. A plough may be made of wood or iron. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture. The primary purpose of ploughing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds, the remains of previous crops, and both crop and weed seeds, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil, allows it to hold moisture better and provides a seed-free medium for planting an alternate crop. In modern use, a ploughed field is typically left to dry out, and is then harrowed before planting. Ploughs were initially human powered, but the process became considerably more efficient once animals were pressed into service. The first animal powered ploughs were undoubtedly pulled by oxen, and later in many areas by horses and mules, although various other animals have been used for this purpose. In industrialised countries, the first mechanical means of pulling a plough were steam-powered, but these were gradually superseded by internal-combustion-powered tractors.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Plough

    plow, n. an instrument for turning up the soil to prepare it for seed: tillage: a joiner's plane for making grooves.—v.t. to turn up with the plough: to make furrows or ridges in: to tear: to divide: to run through, as in sailing: (university slang) to reject in an examination.—v.i. to work with a plough.—adj. Plough′able, capable of being ploughed: arable.—ns. Plough′boy, a boy who drives or guides horses in ploughing; Plough′er; Plough′gate (Scots law), a quantity of land of the extent of 100 acres Scots; Plough′ing; Plough′-ī′ron, the coulter of a plough; Plough′-land, land suitable for tillage: as much land as could be tilled with one plough, a hide of land; Plough′man, a man who ploughs: a husbandman: a rustic:—pl. Plough′men; Plough′-Mon′day, the Monday after Twelfth Day when, according to the old usage, the plough should be set to work again after the holidays; Plough′-tail, the end of a plough where the handles are; Plough′-tree, a plough-handle; Plough′wright, one who makes and mends ploughs.—Put one's hand to the plough, to begin an undertaking.—Snow plough, a strong triangular frame of wood for clearing snow off roads, railways, &c., drawn by horses or by a locomotive; Steam plough, a plough driven by a stationary steam-engine; The Plough, the seven bright stars in the constellation of the Great Bear. [Ice. plógr; perh. Celt., Gael. ploc, a block.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. plough

    An instrument formerly used for taking the sun's altitude, and possessed of large graduations. When a ship cuts briskly through the sea she is said to plough it.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Plough is ranked #38801 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Plough surname appeared 569 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Plough.

    96.3% or 548 total occurrences were White.
    1.2% or 7 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 5 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce plough?

How to say plough in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of plough in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of plough in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of plough in a Sentence

  1. G. K. Chesterton, The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown:

    The discovery of this strange society was a curiously refreshing thing; to realize that there were ten new trades in the world was like looking at the first ship or the first plough. It made a man feel what he should feel, that he was still in the childhood of the world.

  2. Woody Johnson:

    We're extremely confident in the ability of the UK to plough through this issue with Brexit and move on, she was the first foreign dignitary to visit the U.S. when he became president. So I think that symbolizes how he considers the importance of her leadership in this country right now.

  3. Miguel de Cervantes:

    'Tis an old saying, the Devil lurks behind the cross. All is not gold that glitters. From the tail of the plough, Bamba was made King of Spain and from his silks and riches was Rodrigo cast to be devoured by the snakes.

  4. British Prime Minister David Cameron:

    I dropped into The Plough at Cadsden for a pint of IPA and some fish and chips with China's President Xi.

  5. Luke 962 Bible:

    And Jesus said unto him, 'No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'

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Translations for plough

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"plough." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 25 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/plough>.

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