I. plough 1 BrE AmE ( also plow American English ) /plaʊ/ noun [countable]
1 . a piece of farm equipment used to turn over the earth so that seeds can be planted
2 . under the plough British English formal land that is under the plough is used for growing crops
⇨ ↑ snow plough (1)
II. plough 2 BrE AmE ( also plow American English ) verb
1 . [intransitive and transitive] to turn over the earth using a plough so that seeds can be planted:
In those days the land was plowed by oxen.
a ploughed field
2 . [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move with a lot of effort or force
plough through/up/across etc
We ploughed through the thick mud.
3 . plough a lonely/lone furrow British English literary to do a job or activity that is different from those done by other people, or to do it alone
plough ahead phrasal verb
to continue to do something in spite of opposition or difficulties
plough ahead with
The government will plough ahead with tests this year, despite a boycott from teachers.
plough something ↔ back phrasal verb
to use money that you have earned from a business to make the business bigger and more successful
plough something ↔ back into
Companies can plough back their profits into new equipment.
plough into somebody/something phrasal verb
to crash into something or someone, especially while driving, because you are unable to stop quickly enough:
I plowed into the car in front.
plough on phrasal verb
to continue doing something that is difficult or boring
plough on with
Julia ploughed on with the endless exam papers.
He looked displeased but she ploughed on regardless.
plough through something phrasal verb
to read all of something, even though it is boring and takes a long time:
Most staff will never want to plough through the manuals that come with the software.
plough something ↔ up phrasal verb
to break up the surface of the ground by travelling over it many times:
Horses plough up the paths and make them muddy for walkers.
• • •
▪ dig to make a hole in the ground using your hands, a tool, or a machine:
Some workmen were digging a trench at the side of the road.
In Africa, the people know where to dig for water.
▪ make a hole to dig a hole in the ground, using your hands or a tool:
Make a hole just big enough for the plant’s roots.
▪ burrow /ˈbʌrəʊ $ ˈbɜːroʊ/ if an animal burrows, it makes a hole or a passage in the ground by digging the earth with its feet, nose etc:
The rabbits had burrowed a hole under the fence.
▪ plough British English , plow American English /plaʊ/ to turn over the soil using a machine or a tool pulled by animals, to prepare the soil for planting seeds:
The farmers here still plough their fields using buffaloes.
▪ excavate /ˈekskəveɪt/ formal to dig a large hole in the ground, especially as a preparation for building something:
The men began excavating the hole for the pool.
▪ bore to make a deep round hole in the ground using a special machine, especially in order to look for oil or water:
Companies need a special licence to bore for oil.