Middle English furwe, forowe, forgh, furch, from Old English furh "furrow, trench in the earth made by a plow," from Proto-Germanic *furkh- (source also of Old Frisian furch "furrow;" Middle Dutch vore, Dutch voor; German Furche "furrow;" Old Norse for "furrow, drainage ditch"), from PIE *perk- (2) "to dig, tear out" (source also of Latin porca "ridge between two furrows," Old Irish -rech, Welsh rhych "furrow"). General meaning "narrow trench or channel" is from early 14c. In reference to a deep wrinkle on the face, by 1580s.
early 15c., "to plow, make furrows in," from furrow (n.). Meaning "to make wrinkles in one's face, brow, etc." is from 1590s. Old English had furian (v.). Related: Furrowed; furrowing.
updated on January 26, 2015