mow down

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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.
See also: down, mow

mow down somebody/something

also 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)
See also: down, mow

mow down

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.
See also: down, mow

mow down

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.
See also: down, mow
References in periodicals archive ?
The Mow Down Pollution Partnership is one of several task forces State-wide working on a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board to help reduce the amount of green waste taken to local landfills.
These include Caligula's stadium, which spanned the size of three football fields and incorporated a terrifying "killing machine," which historians say Caligula employed literally to mow down the heads of his detractors.
But if you're drunk out of your head, driving with no insurance and then mow down and kill an innocent pedestrian, you get fined pounds 150.
They don't care who they mow down, who they hurt, so long as the bureaucracy stays in the catbird seat.
An Arab fanatic tried to mow down a group of 20 teenage British tourists with his car last night - then leaped out with a sword and knife and stabbed a mum and daughter in a restaurant.
Just a day earlier Cal Scholtzhauer used a Weedwacker to mow down a fire break along the northern edge of his home, which abuts hundreds of acres of browning, grassy hills.