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

     

    trawl

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//trɔːl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//trɔːl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they trawl
    BrE BrE//trɔːl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//trɔːl//
     
    he / she / it trawls
    BrE BrE//trɔːlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//trɔːlz//
     
    past simple trawled
    BrE BrE//trɔːld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//trɔːld//
     
    past participle trawled
    BrE BrE//trɔːld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//trɔːld//
     
    -ing form trawling
    BrE BrE//ˈtrɔːlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtrɔːlɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to search through a large amount of information or a large number of people, places, etc. looking for a particular thing or person trawl something (for something/somebody) She trawled the shops for bargains. Major companies trawl the universities for potential graduate trainees. trawl (through something) (for something/somebody) The police are trawling through their files for similar cases.
  2. 2[intransitive] trawl (for something) to fish for something by pulling a large net with a wide opening through the water Wordfinderbait, bite, dragnet, fishing, fly, hook, line, net, rod, trawl
  3. Word Origin mid 16th cent. (as a verb): probably from Middle Dutch traghelen ‘to drag’ (related to traghel ‘dragnet’), perhaps from Latin tragula ‘dragnet’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: trawl

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