American English

Definition of sow verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    see also sow2Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sow
    he / she / it sows
    past simple sowed
    past participle sown
    past participle sowed
    -ing form sowing
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to plant or spread seeds in or on the ground sow (something) Sow the seeds in rows. Water well after sowing. Sow rows of lettuces between other vegetables. sow something with something The fields around had been sown with wheat. Topic CollocationsFarminggrowing food and raising animals plant trees/seeds/crops/vines/barley grow/produce corn/wheat/rice/fruit plow land/a field sow/harvest seeds/crops/fields spread manure/fertilizer on something cultivate/irrigate/water/contaminate crops/plants/fields/land damage/destroy/lose your crop ripen/pick fruit/berries/grapes press/dry/ferment grapes grind/thresh grain/corn/wheat raise/rear/keep chickens/poultry/cattle/pigs raise/breed/feed/graze livestock/cattle/sheep butcher/kill/slaughter livestock preserve/smoke/cure/salt meatmodern farming run a fish farm/an organic dairy farm engage in/be involved in intensive (pig/fish) farming use/apply (chemical/organic) fertilizer/insecticides/pesticides begin/do/conduct field trials of GM (= genetically modified) crops grow/develop GM crops/seeds/plants/foods fund/invest in genetic engineering/research improve/increase crop yields face/suffer from/alleviate food shortages label food that contains GMOs (= genetically modified organisms) eliminate/reduce farm subsidies oppose/be against factory farming/GM food promote/encourage/support organic/sustainable farming
  2. 2[transitive] sow something (in something) to introduce or spread feelings or ideas, especially ones that cause trouble to sow doubt in someone's mind to sow confusion
  3. Idioms
    sow the seeds of something
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    to start the process that leads to a particular situation or result In this way he sowed the seeds of his own success.
    sow (your) wild oats
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    (of young men) to go through a period of wild behavior while young, especially having a lot of romantic or sexual relationships He wants to leave home, sow his wild oats and learn about life.
    you reap what you sow (saying)
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    you have to deal with the bad effects or results of something that you originally started
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sow