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clean (one's) plow
To physically attack one, as with punches and other blows, such that they suffer significant injury. If you humiliate me like this again, I'll clean your plow!
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 reinvest financial gains back into a business. Traders have been plowing back into the tech market, as shares in the biggest companies continue to skyrocket. The company, though very successful on paper, is on the brink of bankruptcy, because the CEOs have been lining their pockets with all of its profits instead of plowing back into it.
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 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.
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!
To move, progress, or develop at a slow but constant and deliberate pace, especially that which is menial, time-consuming, or tedious. John: "Hey Steve, what's new?" Steve: "Nothing much, just been plowing 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 plowing on until you're done!"
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.
1. Literally, to bury something under the surface of the ground by turning the soil up over it. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "plow" and "under." The once lush forests of the area were eventually plowed under to make room for fields of corn and wheat. We had to plow the entire field under because the market prices for corn had fallen so low.
2. To cause someone to be extremely busy; to overwhelm someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "plow" and "under"; usually used in passive constructions. Kate's not coming tonight because she's plowed under with research for her thesis. The boss has plowed me under with way too many projects—I'll need some help or I'll never finish them on time!
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!
To pursue or continue with some futile task or activity, wasting one's time as a result. Usually used in the continuous tense. I've spent my life campaigning for environmental protection, but with the way the world's governments continue to favor corporations over everything else, I feel as though I've been plowing water this whole time. You're plowing water if you think you're going to change Henry's mind.
poach on (one's) territory
To encroach on an area of land or part of a market that one currently controls or has jurisdiction over. The telecom giant has launched a legal campaign against the new service in an effort to prevent it from poaching on its territory. The indigenous tribe was awarded a huge reparation payment after a federal court agreed that the government had unlawfully poached on their territory for hundreds of years.
put (one's) hand to the plow
To set to work; to begin or get busy working. (Spelled "hand to the plough" in British English.) Primarily heard in US. We've spent a long time planning our business model, and now it's time to put our hand to the plow. My father loves his work. Even after retiring, he still puts his hand to the plow with various projects.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
clean someone's plow
Rur. to beat someone up. If Joe crosses me one more time, I'll clean his plow for sure. Somebody must have really cleaned Bill's plow last night. He had two black eyes this morning!
plow into someone or something
to crash into someone or something; to bump hard into someone or something. The car plowed into the ditch. The runner plowed into another player.
plow something back into somethingand plow something back
to put something, such as a profit, back into an investment. We plowed all the profits back into the expansion of the business. Bill and Ted plowed back everything they earned into the company.
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.
plow something under (something)
to turn something under the surface of soil by plowing. The farmer plowed the wheat stubble under the surface of the soil. The farmer plowed the stubble under.
plow something up
to uncover something by plowing. The farmer plowed some old coins up and took them to the museum to find out what they were. He plowed up some valuable coins.
plow through something
1. Lit. to move through something such as snow or mud with a plow. The huge truck plowed through the snow-covered streets so traffic could move again.
2. Fig. to work through something with determination. She plowed through the book to learn everything she could. Billy plowed through dinner and ran outside to play.
put one's hand to the plow
Fig. to get busy; to help out; to start working. (Alludes to grasping a plow, ready to work the fields.) You should start work now. It's time to put your hand to the plow. Put your hand to the plow and get the job done!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Reinvest earnings or profits in one's business, as in This company plows back half its profits every year. This term transfers the farming practice of turning the soil from top to bottom to financial enterprises. [First half of 1900s]
Strike with force, crash into; also, attack vigorously. For example, The truck plowed into the retaining wall, or Carol plowed into the pile of correspondence. This expression transfers the force of the farmer's plow to other enterprises. [Late 1800s]
Cause to vanish, overwhelm, as in The independent bookstores are being plowed under by the large chains. This term alludes to the farmer's burying vegetation by turning it into the soil with a plow. [Second half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To reinvest some earnings or profits in one's business: After plowing back its profits for years, the company finally decided to pay dividends to its investors. The owners plowed the profits back into the business, using the money to buy new equipment.
1. To strike someone or something with force: The truck slid on the ice and plowed into a brick wall.
2. To cause something to strike someone or something with force: The driver plowed the SUV into the wall.
3. To undertake something, as a task, with eagerness and vigor: I went to the library and plowed into my research paper.
4. To invest some amount of money into something: The company plowed its excess cash into stocks. I just plowed $200,000 into a new house.
1. To work something into the earth by turning up soil over it: Low grain prices have forced many farmers to plow their crops under. Many wetlands were plowed under to make more farmland.
2. To overwhelm someone or something: My teachers have plowed me under with work this week. We were plowed under with dirty laundry.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. They went out and got plowed.
See plowed under
n. wasting time doing something futile. You’re wasting your time. You’re plowing water.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.