- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: bō, IPA(key): /bəʊ/
- (General American) enPR: bō, IPA(key): /boʊ/
Audio (UK) (file) Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -əʊ
- Homophone: beau
bow (plural bows)
- A weapon made of a curved piece of wood or other flexible material whose ends are connected by a string, used for shooting arrows.
- A curved bend in a rod or planar surface, or in a linear formation such as a river (see oxbow).
- A rod with horsehair (or an artificial substitute) stretched between the ends, used for playing various stringed musical instruments.
- A stringed instrument (chordophone), consisting of a stick with a single taut cord stretched between the ends, most often played by plucking.
- A type of knot with two loops, used to tie together two cords such as shoelaces or apron strings, and frequently used as decoration, such as in gift-wrapping.
- Anything bent or curved, such as a rainbow.
- The U-shaped piece which goes around the neck of an ox and fastens it to the yoke.
- Either of the arms of a pair of spectacles, running from the side of the lens to behind the wearer's ear.
- 1991, Stephen King, Needful Things:
- […] she kept toying with a pair of old sunglasses which lay beside her on the kitchen table. One of the bows had been mended with adhesive tape, and one of the lenses was cracked.
- Any instrument consisting of an elastic rod, with ends connected by a string, employed for giving reciprocating motion to a drill, or for preparing and arranging hair, fur, etc., used by hatters.
- (nautical) A crude sort of quadrant formerly used for taking the sun's altitude at sea.
- (saddlery) Two pieces of wood which form the arched forward part of a saddletree.
- The part of a key that is not inserted into the lock and that is used to turn the key.
- Coordinate term: blade
- Either of the two handles of a pair of scissors.
- (bow-shaped bend): arc, bend, curve
- (tool for playing stringed instruments): fiddlestick
- (a type of stringed instrument): musical bow
- another string to one's bow
- bow and arrow
- bow collector
- bow compass
- bow drill
- bow grip
- bow guard
- bow harp
- bow kite
- bow maker
- bow net
- bow pen
- bow pencil
- bow saw
- bow spring
- Bow Street
- bow tie
- bow window
- Brocken bow
- Broken Bow
- brush bow
- composite bow
- compound bow
- Cupid's bow
- dickie bow
- dicky bow
- diddley bow
- down bow
- draw a long bow
- draw the long bow
- drill bow
- flax bow
- fogbow, fog bow
- have two strings to one's bow
- knuckle bow
- musical bow
- play bow
- pull the long bow
- pussy bow
- recurve bow
- saddle bow
- shaft bow
- Silver Bow
- Silver Bow County
- spray bow
- stone bow
- stretch the long bow
- string to one's bow
- up bow
- To play music on (a stringed) instrument using a bow.
- The musician bowed his violin expertly.
- (intransitive) To become bent or curved.
- The shelf bowed under the weight of the books.
- (transitive) To make something bend or curve.
- (transitive, figurative) To exercise powerful or controlling influence over; to bend, figuratively; to turn; to incline.
From Middle English bowen, buwen, buȝen, from Old English būgan, from Proto-West Germanic *beugan, from Proto-Germanic *beuganą, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰūgʰ- (“to bend”). Cognate with Dutch buigen, German biegen, Danish bue.
- (intransitive) To bend oneself as a gesture of respect or deference.
- 1900 May 17, L[yman] Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y.: Geo[rge] M. Hill Co., →OCLC:
- The soldier now blew upon a green whistle, and at once a young girl, dressed in a pretty green silk gown, entered the room. She had lovely green hair and green eyes, and she bowed low before Dorothy as she said, "Follow me and I will show you your room."
- 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- I told him about everything I could think of; and what I couldn't think of he did. He asked about six questions during my yarn, but every question had a point to it. At the end he bowed and thanked me once more. As a thanker he was main-truck high; I never see anybody so polite.
- That singer always bows towards her audience for some reason.
- (transitive and intransitive) To debut.
- 1979, Bruce Cassiday, Dinah!: A Biography, page 115:
- The show bowed in the first week of December, 1951. Dinah was ready, and so were the technicians who put on her makeup […]
- 2010 (publication date), Kara Krekeler, "Rebuilding the opera house", West End Word, volume 39, number 26, December 22, 2010 – January 11, 2011, page 1:
- SCP recently announced that How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical will bow on the newly renovated stage next December.
- (intransitive) To defer (to something).
- I bow to your better judgement in the matter.
- (transitive) To give a direction, indication, or command to by bowing.
- 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 7, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 124:
- Poirot rose gallantly, bowed her into the seat opposite him.
- 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 302:
- He saw himself, in a smart suit and a songkok, bowed into the opulent suites of Ritzes and Waldorfs and baring, under dark glasses, a hairy chest to a milder sun by a snakeless sea.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
bow (plural bows)
- A gesture, usually showing respect, made by inclining the head or bending forward at the waist; a reverence
- He made a polite bow as he entered the room.
From Middle English bowe, bowgh, a borrowing from Middle Low German bôch and/or Middle Dutch boech, from Proto-Germanic *bōguz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₂ǵʰus (“arm”). Cognate with Dutch boeg (“bow”), Danish bov (“bow”), Swedish bog (“bow”). Doublet of bough.
bow (plural bows)
- (nautical) The front of a boat or ship.
- 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 6, in The Dust of Conflict:
- The night was considerably clearer than anybody on board her desired when the schooner Ventura headed for the land. It rose in places, black and sharp against the velvety indigo, over her dipping bow, though most of the low littoral was wrapped in obscurity.
- (rowing) The rower that sits in the seat closest to the bow of the boat.
- Often used in the plural, the ship being considered to have starboard and port bows, meeting at the stem.
- (of a ship): prow
bow (plural bows)
- Obsolete spelling of
- 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i], page 17, column 1:
- Where the Bee ſucks, there ſuck I, / In a Cowſlips bell, I lie, / There I cowch when Owles doe crie, / On the Batts backe I doe flie / after Sommer merrily. / Merrily, merrily, ſhall I liue now / Vnder the bloſſom that hangs on the Bow.
- 1653, Iz[aak] Wa[lton], chapter VII, in The Compleat Angler or The Contemplative Man’s Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing, […], London: […] T. Maxey for Rich[ard] Marriot, […], →OCLC; reprinted as The Compleat Angler (Homo Ludens; 6), Nieuwkoop, South Holland, Netherlands: Miland Publishers, 1969, →ISBN:
- [Y]ou are to faſten that line to any bow neer to a hole where a Pike is, or is likely to lye, or to have a haunt, […]
bow (plural bows)
- Alternative form of ; any of several Chinese buns and breads
- bow-wow, bow chicka wow wow (different etymology)
- bow diddley, diddley bow (different etymology)
- throw them bows
- Bow (weapon) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia (Wikipedia article on bows (weapons))
- Bow (knot) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia (Wikipedia article on bows (the knots))
- Bowing (social) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia (Wikipedia article on bows, the gestures of respect)
- Bow (ship) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia (Wikipedia article on the bows of ships)
- Bow (music) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia (Wikipedia article on bows used to play string instruments)
- Musical bow on Wikipedia.Wikipedia (Wikipedia article on musical bows)
- to build
- (figurative, with tapu) to trust, to depend on
- wan sma di yu kan bow na en tapu ― someone you can depend on
bōw f (plural bowa)