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Related to mow down: mown
mow someone or something down
to cut, knock, or shoot someone or something down. The speeding car almost mowed us down. The car mowed down the pedestrian.
mow down somebody/somethingalso mow somebody/something down
to violently cause someone or something to fall The car skidded along the side of the road and mowed down several mailboxes before coming to a stop. A young woman was mowed down in a public market by narcotics traffickers.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of mow down (to cut grasses or grains that fall over as they are cut)
1. Destroy in great numbers, especially in battle, as in The machine gun mowed them down as they advanced. [Late 1500s]
2. Overwhelm, as in He mowed down the opposition with his arguments. This usage, like the first, alludes to mowing, the cutting of grass with a scythe or other implement.
1. To trim back or cut down something that grows from the ground: Unfortunately, you didn't just cut the grass—you mowed down all the potato plants. We mowed the brush down with scythes.
2. To destroy or incapacitate someone or something as if by cutting or driving into the ground: The machine gunners mowed down hundreds of enemy troops within the first ten minutes of fighting. I tried to tackle the runner, but he just mowed me down. The gang drove by with machine guns and mowed the informant down in front of his house.
3. To overwhelm someone or something: The experienced debater mowed down the opposition with persuasive arguments.