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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 now it's time to put our hand to the plough. My father loves his work. Even after retiring, he still puts his hand to the plough with various projects.
See also: hand, plough, put

plow (something) back (into something)

To reinvest financial gains back into a business or industry. (Usually spelled "plough" in British English.) Even if you're company is thriving, it could still go bankrupt if you don't plow those profits back into the business. Many traders have been plowing part of their enormous earnings back into the tech market, as shares in the biggest companies continue to skyrocket.
See also: back, plow

plow in

To plow the soil so as to mix some other substance thoroughly into it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "plow" and "in." (Usually spelled "plough" in British English.) You plow in this new kind of insecticide so that the plants are naturally resistant to bugs as they grow. Make sure you plow the fertilizer in before you sow the seeds.
See also: plow

plow through (something)

1. To create a path through some heavy substance with or as with a plow. (Usually spelled "plough" in British English.) We had to plow through the snow to reach our neighbor's house. The mud was so horrible after the floods receded that we were plowing through it for days.
2. To progress through something with great speed, enthusiasm, or determination. Wow, you really plowed through that book! Are you ready for the next one in the series? I know you want to plow through these early lessons, but you should really take your time so the information sinks in.
See also: plow, through

plow up (something)

1. To clear some pathway by digging into it with or as with a plow. (Usually spelled "plough" in British English.) I decided to plow up the road because it had become so uneven and overgrown with shrubs.
2. To damage a road or pathway with the use of a plow. The city trucks really plowed up the asphalt on our road when they cleared away the snow. It looks terrible now, and it's horribly bumpy to drive on!
3. To drive up or along some road or pathway with great, reckless haste. The cab driver plowed up the small mountain road at breakneck speed, nearly crashing into three different cars along the way.
4. To discover something as a result of uncovering it with a plow. I couldn't believe it when Jake plowed up an original Superman #1, wrapped in plastic and in mint condition. I plowed up Dad's cell phone this morning. He'd been looking for it all winter!
See also: plow, up

plow something in

to work something into soil by plowing. Lay the fertilizer down and plow it in. Plow in the fertilizer as soon as you can.
See also: plow

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 ?
The age at which one can legally drive a tractor on a public road is 16, but at 13 one is legally allowed to plough in a designated area (away from the public).
PLOUGH SHARES: Top, the ploughing service at Hade Edge Methodist Church, from left, John Hill, World Ploughing Champion, Val Hill with Maurice Garlick and, inset, the Rev Charlotte Lorimer (left) pictured with members of the congregation during the blessing ceremony at last year's event (PC300111Hplough-01)
On Sunday, a plough from Mary Arden's House in Wilmcote will be drawn through the village and at 10.
BLESSING: Plough Sunday at Hade Edge Methodist Church last year.
Mr Hooson, of Pen-y-Ffordd Farm, added: "I first saw this plough being demonstrated near Crewe as a 15-year-old - and I immediately wanted one.
And when he learnt that it was the same plough that Mr Hall had used in his first ploughing competition, he organised a vintage fun day to reunite it with his mentor for one last time.
On January 7, a plough will be drawn through the village by local cubs and then at 10.
The match is an opportunity for both ploughmen and plough women to compete in several different classes to attain the accolade of Wales' Champion Plough person.
On display outside was a twofurrow plough, brought along by 80-year-old Leslie Wagstaff and, to great cheers, Joan Woodhall then arrived from Brockholes in her Fordson tractor with plough attached.
Farmer's daughter Debbie Watson is preparing to plough a lonely furrow ( the only girl in a national skills competition.
30pm and one trio from each green will go forward to the final at The Plough the same afternoon with a 5.
If you wanted to buy a new plough today there's a nine months waiting list in them," said Ellis.
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.