Definition of tow verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

tow

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//təʊ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//toʊ//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tow
BrE BrE//təʊ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//toʊ//
 
he / she / it tows
BrE BrE//təʊz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//toʊz//
 
past simple towed
BrE BrE//təʊd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//toʊd//
 
past participle towed
BrE BrE//təʊd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//toʊd//
 
-ing form towing
BrE BrE//ˈtəʊɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtoʊɪŋ//
 
Travelling by boat or ship
 
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tow something (away) to pull a car or boat behind another vehicle, using a rope or chain Our car was towed away by the police. A glider was being towed into the air. Synonymspulldrag draw haul tow tugThese words all mean to move something in a particular direction, especially towards or behind you.pull to hold something and move it in a particular direction; to hold or be attached to a vehicle and move it along behind you:Pull the chair nearer the table. They use oxen to pull their carts.drag to pull somebody/​something in a particular direction or behind you, usually along the ground, and especially with effort:The sack is too heavy to lift—you’ll have to drag it.draw (formal) to move somebody/​something by pulling them/​it gently; to pull a vehicle such as a carriage:I drew my chair closer to the fire. a horse-drawn carriagehaul to pull somebody/​something to a particular place with a lot of effort:Fishermen were hauling in their nets.drag or haul?You usually drag something behind you along the ground; you usually haul something towards you, often upwards towards you. Dragging something often needs effort, but hauling something always does. tow to pull a car, boat or light plane behind another vehicle, using a rope or chain:Our car was towed away by the police.tug to pull somebody/​something hard in a particular direction:She tried to escape but he tugged her back.Patterns to pull/​drag/​draw/​haul/​tow/​tug somebody/​something along/​down/​towards something to pull/​drag/​draw/​haul/​tow somebody/​something behind you to pull/​drag/​draw/​haul a cart/​sledge to pull/​draw a coach/​carriage to pull/​haul/​tow a truck horses pull/​draw/​haul something dogs pull/​drag/​haul something see also tow bar, tow rope See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship Word Origin Old English togian ‘draw, drag’, of Germanic origin; related to tug. The noun dates from the early 17th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tow