under the harrow


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under the harrow

1. Literally, of soil, broken up and evened off with a harrow (a farm tool similar to a plow). There's still another 40 or so acres that have to go under the harrow tomorrow.
2. By extension, subjected to or undergoing distress, sorrow, or torment. The population has been under the harrow for years now, as the military continues to tighten its grip on the country.

under the harrow

in distress.
A harrow is a heavy frame set with iron teeth or tines, drawn over ploughed land to break up clods and root up weeds; an animal caught under a harrow would suffer extreme pain. In the poem ‘Pagett, MP’ ( 1886 ), Rudyard Kipling alludes to such a situation: ‘The toad beneath the harrow knows Exactly where each tooth-point goes’.