AskDefine | Define tow

Dictionary Definition

tow n : the act of hauling something (as a vehicle) by means of a hitch or rope; "the truck gave him a tow to the garage" [syn: towage] v : drag behind; "Horses used to tow barges along the canal"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • tō, /təʊ/, /t@U/
  • Homophones: toe
  • Rhymes: -əʊ




  1. To pull something behind one using a line or chain; to haul.


  1. The act of towing and the condition of being towed.
  2. Something, such as a tugboat, that tows.
  3. Something, such as a barge, that is towed.
  4. A rope or cable used in towing.
  5. An untwisted bundle of fibers such as cellulose acetate, flax, hemp or jute.


Extensive Definition

In the composites industry, a tow is an untwisted bundle of continuous filaments, and it refers to human-made fibers, particularly carbon fibers (also called graphite).
Tows are designated by the number of fibers they contain, e.g. a 12K tow contains about 12,000 fibers.
In the textile industry, a tow (rhymes with how, unless referring to cellulose acetate which sounds like toe) is a coarse, broken fiber such as flax, hemp, or jute. Flax tows are often used as upholstery stuffing, and tows in general are frequently cut up to produce staple fibers.


tow in French: Étoupe
tow in Norwegian: Stry
tow in Sicilian: Stuppa
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