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dated slang To fail (a course, examination, etc.). Primarily heard in UK. There's no hope of becoming a chartered accountant if I plough the maths exam next week.
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.
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!"
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.
To proceed or continue to progress (with something), especially in a headstrong or impetuous manner. (Usually spelled "plough" in British English.) We decided just to plow ahead with our plans, despite the difficulties we knew we'd encounter along the way. Well, that's what happens when you plough ahead without waiting for proper authorization.
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.
plow into (someone or something)
1. To crash into someone or something with great force. (Usually spelled "plough" in British English.) The driver lost control of the truck, and it plowed right into the front of the café. The attacker plowed into a crowd of people and was tackled to the ground by one of them. Tommy plowed into me as he came running around the corner.
2. To undertake something with great energy, fervor, or determination. Sorry, I can't chat right now. I've got to plow into all these emails that piled up while I was on vacation. I can't believe how enthusiastic Jeff has been about his new classes—he's been plowing into his homework every chance he gets!
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!
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.
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.