Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to plough: plough through, Plough back

plough on

To move, progress, or develop at a slow but constant and deliberate pace, especially that which is menial, time consuming, or tedious. Primarily heard in UK. John: "Hey Steve, what's new?" Steve: "Nothing much, just been ploughing on with research for my thesis." A: "I've still got a ways to go before I'll be finished clearing out debris from the property." B: "Well, just keep ploughing on until you're done!"
See also: on, plough

plow the sands

To do something that seems futile. I know that I'm just plowing the sands by telling you to stay away from that boy, but I'm your father, and I don't want to see you get hurt. That couch will never fit up the steps—tell them to stop plowing the sands!
See also: plow, sand

plough a lone(ly) furrow

To do something in isolation; to act without the help of others. Primarily heard in UK. I tried to offer Jonathan help with the project, but he'd rather plough a lone furrow.
See also: furrow, plough

plough (one's) own furrow

To do something in isolation; to act without the help or influence of others. Primarily heard in UK. I tried to offer Jonathan help with the project, but he'd rather plough his own furrow. As an artist, I think you should try to plough your own furrow before worrying what other people might want.
See also: furrow, own, plough

put (one's) hand to the plough

To set to work; to begin or get busy working. (Spelled "hand to the plow" in American English.) Primarily heard in UK. We've spent a long time planning our business model and strategy for success; now it's time to put our hand to the plough and get things moving. My father loves his work; even after retiring, he still puts his hand to the plough with various projects.
See also: hand, plough, put

plough a lonely furrow


plough a lone furrow

If someone ploughs a lonely furrow or ploughs a lone furrow, they do something by themselves and in their own way, without any help or support from other people. It seems that Shattock was something of an original thinker, ploughing a lonely furrow. Stein sandwich bar continues to plough a lone furrow as the building's only occupant. Note: This expression is very variable. Their government is more than adept at ploughing its own diplomatic furrow. Note: A furrow is a long narrow trench made in the ground by a plough.
See also: furrow, lonely, plough

plough a lonely (or your own) furrow

follow a course of action in which you are isolated or in which you can act independently.
See also: furrow, lonely, plough

plough the sand

labour uselessly.
Ploughing the sand has been a proverbial image of fruitless activity since the late 16th century.
See also: plough, sand

put (or set) your hand to the plough

embark on a task.
This phrase alludes to Luke 9:62: ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’.
See also: hand, plough, put

ˌplough a lonely, your own, etc. ˈfurrow

(literary) do things that other people do not do, or be interested in things that other people are not interested in: There are several English teachers at the school, but Jeanne continues to plough a lonely furrow, teaching French and German.
A furrow is a long narrow cut in the ground made by a plough (= a large piece of farming equipment used for cutting the soil).
See also: furrow, plough
References in periodicals archive ?
First, the trailer plough didn't want to go into the ground.
PLOUGH ON PARADE Farm manager Joe Moore (left) and Father Keith Harrison prepare for Plough Sunday.
Farmers are being invited to come to church on their t ractors, with ploughs attached - particularly those members of the farming community who keep the countryside in good order.
Brynford farmer John Hooson shows that his 52hp David Brown tractor can pull both a six-furrow plough and a second tractor with a two-furrow plough
Mr Ryle said: "George taught me how to plough so I owe a lot to him.
There will also be a bless the plough ceremony the night before the match held within a short distance of the match site.
PLOUGH SUNDAY: The Rev Charlotte Lorimer (left) is seen with a tractor and plough and members of the Hade Edge Methodist Church congregation as she conducts the blessing ceremony Picture by Paul Welch (PW310110Eplough-02)
Debbie plans to take part in a number of matches to get as much practice as she can on the Massey Ferguson 1952 plough and 1959 tractor.
Wooden ploughs pulled by people or by animals like oxen were already established when the early Egyptian civilisation flourished 4,000 years ago and they remained basically unchanged for centuries until the industrial revolution converted them to steel in the mid 19th century.
AGEING ploughmen on Anglesey who want to attract youngsters into the sport have taken delivery of a shiny new training plough.
John Hill and Simon Witty now plough for England at the 2004 World Ploughing Contest in Northern Ireland.
The next match is the National Ploughing Championships at Penrith on Saturday and Sunday where Ray Alderson is competing with a trailed plough and Raymond Edmondson a mounted plough for the Northumberland and Durham area.
The Anglesey event is expected to lure large numbers of plough men and supporters from plough-mad Ireland, generating a mini-tourism boom for the island.
These almost primeval responses still evoke emotion and stir plough men young and old.
A rare plough, thought to be one of only six of its kind to have survived the last 60 years, was back among the furrows at Peepy Farm, Stocksfield, on Sunday in the hands of veteran ploughman George Hall.