- 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[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 Word Origin mid 16th cent. (as a verb): probably from Middle Dutch traghelen
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//