from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A farm implement consisting of a heavy frame with sharp teeth or upright disks, used to break up and even off plowed ground.
  • transitive v. To break up and level (soil or land) with a harrow.
  • transitive v. To inflict great distress or torment on.
  • transitive v. Archaic To plunder; sack.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device consisting of a heavy framework having several disks or teeth in a row, which is dragged across ploughed land to smooth or break up the soil, to remove weeds or cover seeds; a harrow plow.
  • v. To drag a harrow over; to break up with a harrow.
  • v. To traumatize or disturb; to frighten or torment.
  • interj. A call for help, or of distress, alarm etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An implement of agriculture, usually formed of pieces of timber or metal crossing each other, and set with iron or wooden teeth. It is drawn over plowed land to level it and break the clods, to stir the soil and make it fine, or to cover seed when sown.
  • n. An obstacle formed by turning an ordinary harrow upside down, the frame being buried.
  • interj. Help! Halloo! An exclamation of distress; a call for succor; -- the ancient Norman hue and cry.
  • transitive v. To draw a harrow over, as for the purpose of breaking clods and leveling the surface, or for covering seed.
  • transitive v. To break or tear, as with a harrow; to wound; to lacerate; to torment or distress; to vex.
  • transitive v. To pillage; to harry; to oppress.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To draw a harrow over; break or tear with a harrow: as, to harrow land or ground.
  • To tear or lacerate as if by a harrow; torment; harass.
  • To ravage; despoil; vex: same as harry.
  • Help! hallo! hello! an exclamation of sudden distress, of lamentation, or of indignation or surprise: used by heralds to attract attention.
  • n. An implement, usually formed of pieces of timber or bars of metal crossing one another and set with iron teeth (also called tines), drawn (usually by one corner) over plowed land to level it and break the clods, and to Cover Seed when sown.
  • n. Disturbance; cry; uproar.
  • n. A barrow-like military formation; also, that assumed by flying flocks of wild geese.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cultivator that pulverizes or smooths the soil
  • v. draw a harrow over (land)


Middle English harwe.
Middle English herwen, variant of harien; see harry.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Either representing unattested Old English *hearwe or *hearġe (perhaps ultimately cognate with harvest), or from Old Norse harfr/herfi; compare Danish harve ("harrow"), Dutch hark ("rake"). Akin to Latin carpere. (Wiktionary)
From Old French haro, harou, of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)



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  • Verb: to rob of goods by force, especially in time of war

    "Russian soldiers went through the Georgian village and left it utterly destroyed and harrowed."

    August 19, 2008