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 ?
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.