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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle Dutch vrouwe (lady), from Old Dutch *frōwa, from Proto-Germanic *frawjǭ (lady, mistress), from Proto-Indo-European *prōw- (right; judge, master). Cognate with Dutch vrouw (woman, wife, lady, mistress), Low German frouw, frauw (woman, wife, lady), German Frau (woman, wife, lady), Swedish fru, Icelandic freyja (lady, mistress, in compounds), Old English frōwe (woman), Old English frēa (lord, master, husband). Doublet of frau.


frow (plural frows)

  1. A woman; a wife, especially a Dutch or German one.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)
  2. (obsolete) A slovenly woman; a wench; a lusty woman.
  3. (obsolete) A big, fat woman; a slovenly, coarse, or untidy woman; a woman of low character.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)

Etymology 2Edit


frow (plural frows)

  1. Alternative spelling of froe

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English frow, frough, frogh, frouh, frouȝ (brittle; tender; fickle; slack; loose), cognate with Scots frooch, freuch (dry and brittle). Of obscure origin. Perhaps also related to Middle Dutch vro, vroo, Middle Low German vrô, German froh.


frow (comparative more frow, superlative most frow)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal) Brittle; tender; crisp
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Evelyn to this entry?)
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

Compare frower.


frow (plural frows)

  1. A cleaving tool with handle at right angles to the blade, for splitting cask staves and shingles from the block; a frower.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for frow in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)