"line of people or things," Old English ræw "a row, line; succession, hedge-row," probably from Proto-Germanic *rai(h)waz (source also of Middle Dutch rie, Dutch rij "row;" Old High German rihan "to thread," riga "line;" German Reihe "row, line, series;" Old Norse rega "string"), possibly from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (source also of Sanskrit rikhati "scratches," rekha "line"). Meaning "a number of houses in a line" is attested from mid-15c., originally chiefly Scottish and northern English. Phrase a hard row to hoe attested from 1823, American English.
"noisy commotion," 1746, Cambridge University slang, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to rousel "drinking bout" (c. 1600), a shortened form of carousal. Klein suggests a back-formation from rouse (n.), mistaken as a plural (compare pea from pease).
"propel with oars," Old English rowan "go by water, row" (class VII strong verb; past tense reow, past participle rowen), from Proto-Germanic *ro- (source also of Old Norse roa, Dutch roeien, West Frisian roeije, Middle High German rüejen), from PIE root *ere- "to row."
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