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row 1

1. A series of objects placed next to each other, usually in a straight line.
2. A succession without a break or gap in time: won the title for three years in a row.
3. A line of adjacent seats, as in a theater, auditorium, or classroom.
4. A continuous line of buildings along a street.
tr.v. rowed, row·ing, rows
To place in a row.
a tough row to hoe Informal
A difficult situation to endure.

[Middle English, from Old English rāw.]

row 2

v. rowed, row·ing, rows
v.intr. Nautical
To use an oar or pair of oars in propelling a boat, typically by facing the stern and pulling the oar handle toward oneself, using an oarlock as a fulcrum to push the blade backward through the water repeatedly.
1. Nautical
a. To propel (a boat) with oars.
b. To carry in or on a boat propelled by oars.
c. To use (a specified number of oars or people deploying them).
2. To propel or convey in a manner resembling rowing of a boat.
3. Sports
a. To pull (an oar) as part of a racing crew.
b. To race against by rowing.
n. Nautical
a. The act or an instance of rowing.
b. A shift at the oars of a boat.
2. A trip or an excursion in a rowboat.

[Middle English rowen, from Old English rōwan; see erə- in Indo-European roots.]

row′er n.

row 3

1. A noisy or quarrel or disturbance.
2. A loud noise.
intr.v. rowed, row·ing, rows
To take part in a noisy quarrel or disturbance.

[Origin unknown.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


  • tubular bells - The orchestral instrument consisting of a row of vertically suspended metal tubes struck with a mallet.
  • bib necklace - One consisting of three or more rows.
  • mackerel sky - One with rows of white fluffy clouds resembling the pattern on a mackerel's back.
  • ordinance - First meant arrangement in ranks or rows.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Bow finds it impossible to keep pace with stroke, because stroke rows in such an extraordinary fashion.
They widened all the way up; the stories projected further and further forward and aside as they ascended, and the long rows of lighted windows, filled with little bits of panes, curtained with figured white muslin and adorned outside with boxes of flowers, made a pretty effect.
She kept looking round in turn at the rows of pomaded heads in the stalls and then at the seminude women in the boxes, especially at Helene in the next box, who- apparently quite unclothed- sat with a quiet tranquil smile, not taking her eyes off the stage.
Three rows of benches on each side and six rows in front of him were occupied by the dignitaries of the town and by the parents of the pupils.
The whole Charity School, just opposite, would be in motion; all the new booths, with their not very courtier-like swarm of seamen, would join them out of curiosity, and would greet him with a wild "hurrah!" while he was standing in his pillory: there would be a mob, a hissing, and rejoicing, and jeering, ten times worse than in the rows about the Jews some years ago--"Oh, my blood is mounting to my brain; 'tis enough to drive one mad!
"None whatever," said Vronsky, laughing and showing his even rows of teeth.
She has twelve mis-shapen feet, and six necks of the most prodigious length; and at the end of each neck she has a frightful head with three rows of teeth in each, all set very close together, so that they would crunch any one to death in a moment, and she sits deep within her shady cell thrusting out her heads and peering all round the rock, fishing for dolphins or dogfish or any larger monster that she can catch, of the thousands with which Amphitrite teems.
Meanwhile my beans, the length of whose rows, added together, was seven miles already planted, were impatient to be hoed, for the earliest had grown considerably before the latest were in the ground; indeed they were not easily to be put off.
He was throwing stones at howling urchins from Devil's Row who were circling madly about the heap and pelting at him.
7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814.
The girl rowed, pulling a pair of sculls very easily; the man, with the rudder-lines slack in his hands, and his hands loose in his waistband, kept an eager look out.
His hat had a peaked crown and a flat brim, and around the brim was a row of tiny golden bells that tinkled when he moved.