mow (v.)

Old English mawan "to cut (grass, etc.) with a scythe or other sharp instrument" (class VII strong verb; past tense meow, past participle mawen), from Proto-Germanic *mæanan (source also of Middle Low German maeyen, Dutch maaien, Old High German maen, German mähen "to mow," Old English mæd "meadow"), from PIE root *me- (4) "to cut down grass or grain." Related: Mowed; mown; mowing.

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mow (n.)

"stack of hay," Old English muga, muwa "a heap (of grain, pease, etc.), swath of corn; crowd of people," earlier muha, from Proto-Germanic *mugon (source also of Old Norse mugr "a heap," mostr "crowd"), of uncertain origin. Meaning "place in a barn where hay or sheaves of grain are stored" is by 1755.

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mower (n.)

early 14c., "one who cuts grass with a scythe," agent noun from mow (v.). Mechanical sense is from 1852.

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*me- (4)

*mē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cut down grass or grain." It forms all or part of: aftermath; math (n.2) "a mowing;" mead (n.2) "meadow;" meadow; mow (v.).

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek (poetic) amao, Latin metere "to reap, mow, crop;" Italian mietere, Old Irish meithleorai "reapers," Welsh medi; Old English mawan "to mow," mæd "meadow."

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scythe (v.)

1570s, "use a scythe;" 1590s "to mow;" from scythe (n.). By 1897 as "move with the sweeping motion of one using a scythe." Related: Scythed; scything.

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barb (v.)
late 15c., "to clip, mow" (a sense now archaic or obsolete); see barb (n.). Meaning "to fit or furnish with barbs" is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.
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aftermath (n.)

1520s, originally a second crop of grass grown on the same land after the first had been harvested, from after + -math, from Old English mæð "a mowing, cutting of grass," from PIE root *me- (4) "to cut down grass or grain."

Also known as aftercrop (1560s), aftergrass (1680s), lattermath, fog (n.2). Figurative sense is by 1650s. Compare French regain "aftermath," from re- + Old French gain, gaain "grass which grows in mown meadows," from Frankish or some other Germanic source similar to Old High German weida "grass, pasture."

When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
      And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
      And gather in the aftermath.  

[Longfellow, from "Aftermath"]
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lawn-mower (n.)
1853 as a type of machine to cut grass, from lawn (n.1) + mower. Originally pushed by hand or drawn by horses, later also powered by a motor.
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