1. To scatter, as seed, upon the earth; to plant by strewing; as, to sow wheat. Also used figuratively: To spread abroad; to propagate. "He would sow some difficulty." "A sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside." (Matt. Xiii. 3, 4) "And sow dissension in the hearts of brothers." (Addison)
2. To scatter seed upon, in, or over; to supply or stock, as land, with seeds. Also used figuratively: To scatter over; to besprinkle. "The intellectual faculty is a goodly field, . . . And it is the worst husbandry in the world to sow it with trifles." (Sir M. Hale) "[He] sowed with stars the heaven." (Milton) "Now morn . . . Sowed the earth with orient pearl." (Milton)
Origin: OE. Sowen, sawen, AS. Sawan; akin to OFries. Sa, D. Zaaijen, OS. & HG. Sajan, G. Saen, Icel. Sa, Sw. Sa, Dan. Saae, Goth. Saian, Lith. Seti, Russ. Sieiate, L. Serere, sevi. Cf. Saturday, Season, Seed, Seminary.
Origin: OE. Sowe, suwe, AS. Sugu, akin to su, D. Zog, zeug, OHG. Su, G. Sau, Icel. S<su:ymac/r, Dan. So, Sw. Sugga, so, L. Sus. Gr. "y^s, sy^s, Zend. Hu boar; probably from the root seen in Skr. Su to beget, to bear; the animal being named in allusion to its fecundity. Cf. Hyena, Soil to stain, Son, Swine.
(01 Mar 1998)
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