plow(redirected from plows)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
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 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!
clean (one's) plow
To deliver a violent and prolonged physical attack. 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.
poach on (one's) territory
To encroach on an area of land or part of a market to which someone holds the right or currently controls. The telecoms giant has launched a legal campaign against the new service in an effort to prevent it from poaching on their 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 strategy for success; now it's time to put our hand to the plow and get things moving. My father loves his work; even after retiring, he still puts his hand to the plow with various projects.
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.
plow into (someone or something)
1. To crash into something with great force. 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!
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!
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!
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]
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.
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.