Meaning of harrow in English:


Pronunciation /ˈharəʊ/

See synonyms for harrow

Translate harrow into Spanish


  • An implement consisting of a heavy frame set with teeth or tines which is dragged over ploughed land to break up clods, remove weeds, and cover seed.

    ‘German farmers used spike-tooth harrows extensively to control weeds in small grains fields before the coming of herbicides.’
    • ‘The most common tools used by farmers were metal tipped ploughs for turning over the soil and harrows to cover up the soil when seeds had been planted.’
    • ‘For this task, the farmer hitched the horse to a harrow which was dragged along the ground to break up the clods.’
    • ‘The adequate preparation is often achieved by ripping the land when the soil has good moisture, followed by chisel ploughing and the use of a fine harrow for fine seed preparation.’
    • ‘They should also be equipped with press wheels to produce good seed-to-soil contact and a harrow to scatter residue and help cover seed.’


[with object]
  • 1Draw a harrow over (land)

    ‘they ploughed and harrowed the heavy clay’
    • ‘Wheat fields are harrowed before the crop emerges to get the first flush of weeds.’
    • ‘The nearby dairy farmer plowed and harrowed the garden, and we planted cover crops of annual ryegrass and winter rye.’
    • ‘The new site will not be ready for about two weeks after they move off, and whilst it will be ploughed and harrowed it will still need cultivating.’
    • ‘The field is harrowed to kill the weeds which have already sprouted, then the corn will emerge soon afterwards.’
    • ‘The soil is ploughed and harrowed smooth whilst waiting for the suitable time to transplant young shoots of rice that have been pre-planted in small, separate paddies.’
  • 2Cause distress to.

    ‘Todd could take it, whereas I'm harrowed by it’
    • ‘The scenes in the US last week were deeply harrowing and distressing.’
    • ‘Eerie and harrowing, the film seethes with barely suppressed ferocity.’
    • ‘The reports he made from the prison visits are harrowing.’
    • ‘I read many accounts as harrowing as what you see in this movie, and we felt a great responsibility to them.’
    • ‘As harrowing as these scenes may be, they fail to excite the same level of discomfort as the taciturn Brady who glares blankly into the audience.’
    • ‘Before yesterday's hearing began he told families some of the evidence would be particularly harrowing.’
    • ‘As harrowing as this discovery was, Byrne took some comfort in it since it offered an explanation for Alice's mental problems.’
    • ‘Judging by excerpts already published, the last couple of years have been even more harrowing for the player than most of us suspected.’
    • ‘Because of the flawed layout and the speed of the dual carriageway traffic, driving along this stretch of road can be harrowing.’
    • ‘For these men to even admit they have been hit by their wives is harrowing, never mind having to seek help from the police or a woman solicitor.’
    • ‘I saw where the atomic bomb exploded: it's harrowing, imagining what people went through.’
    • ‘Breaking with them - even when that means walking away from violence - can be harrowing.’
    • ‘He sits in on interviews which can last up to seven hours and can be harrowing if the refugees have had traumatic experiences.’
    • ‘He says visiting some malls and big shopping plazas on weekends can be harrowing.’
    • ‘It was harrowing to watch, and must have been truly terrible to witness.’
    • ‘Well I suppose at once extremely harrowing to give the evidence but in many ways extremely cathartic to do so.’
    • ‘The jury had heard harrowing and distressing evidence about the shooting.’
    • ‘I mostly watched it through my fingers, as it's one of the most harrowing films I've ever seen.’
    • ‘The film is a harrowing tale about a woman who wakes up to find her husband dead.’
    • ‘The film shows the harrowing reality behind the newspaper hysteria over ‘bogus’ refugees.’
    distress, trouble, afflict, grieve, torment, torture, crucify, rack, sear, pain, wound, mortify, cause agony to, cause suffering to
    distressing, traumatic, upsetting, heartbreaking, heart-rending, shocking, disturbing, painful, affecting, haunting, appalling, tragic, horrifying
    View synonyms


Middle English from Old Norse herfi; obscurely related to Dutch hark ‘rake’.