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1. To hide aboard vehicle in order to be transported without paying one's fare. My great-grandfather stowed away on a cargo ship bound for America in 1904. Anyone caught stowing away will be forced to work in the kitchens as a way of paying for their passage.
2. To put something into a designated storage space until it is needed in the future. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stow" and "away." All employees must stow their equipment away at the end of each shift. We stow away our winter jackets in the attic during the summer in order to save space in our wardrobe.
3. To eat or drink a large quantity of something, especially in a greedy or voracious manner. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stow" and "away." Wow, your friend can really stow away her food. Does he get enough to eat at home? The bar was free at the wedding reception, so Sarah started stowing them away as soon as she could. She wasn't feeling too great the next morning, I can tell you that!
stow something away
to pack something away. I have to stow my clothes away before I go to bed. Please stow away your things and get right to work.
to conceal oneself in a vehicle, originally a ship, in order to travel without paying. Don got to this country by stowing away on a cargo ship.
1. Put aside or store something until needed, as in We generally stow away the lawn furniture in the toolshed. [Late 1700s]
2. Hide oneself aboard ship or in a vehicle in order to get free transportation, as in The youngsters planned to stow away on a freighter but they never even got to the waterfront . This usage gave rise to the noun stowaway. [Mid-1800s]
2. Greedily consume food or drink, as in Bob sure can stow away a lot in a short time. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]
1. To put something away or store something, especially to keep a place uncluttered or in order: The platoon leader ordered the soldiers to stow away their sleeping bags and secure the campsite. My lawyer has stowed those papers away in a drawer somewhere.
2. To hide aboard a conveyance in order to obtain free transportation: Unable to afford tickets, the youths stowed away on a tanker.
3. To consume some food or drink greedily: For someone so tiny, you certainly stow away a lot of food! You must have liked that pork; you certainly stowed it away.