Etymology: Middle English, from Old English togian; akin to Old English tēon to draw, pull, Old High German ziohan to draw, pull, Latin ducere to draw, lead
Date: before 12th century
to draw or pull along behind ; haul <tow a wagon> intransitive verb to move in tow <trailers that tow behind the family auto — Bob Munger> II. noun Date: 1600 1. a rope or chain for towing 2. a. the act or an instance of towing b. the fact or state of being towed 3. a. something towed (as a boat or car) b. a group of barges lashed together and usually pushed 4. a. something (as a tugboat) that tows b. ski tow III. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English tow- spinning; akin to Old Norse tō tuft of wool for spinning, Old English tawian to prepare for use — more at taw Date: 14th century 1. short or broken fiber (as of flax, hemp, or synthetic material) that is used especially for yarn, twine, or stuffing 2. a. yarn or cloth made of tow b. a loose essentially untwisted strand of synthetic fibers IV. noun Etymology: Middle English (Scots), probably from Old English toh- (in tohlīne towline); akin to Old English togian to tow Date: 14th century chiefly Scottish & dialect England rope
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.