a U -shaped piece of wood placed under and around the neck of an ox with its upper ends in the bar of the yoke.
Physical Geography, Geology.
a bow-shaped bend in a river, or the land embraced by it.
Also called oxbow lake. a bow-shaped lake formed in a former channel of a river.

1325–75; Middle English; see ox, bow2

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Oxbow lake
World English Dictionary
oxbow (ˈɒksˌbəʊ)
1.  a U-shaped piece of wood fitted under and around the neck of a harnessed ox and attached to the yoke
2.  oxbow lake, Also called: cutoff a small curved lake lying on the flood plain of a river and constituting the remnant of a former meander

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "wooden collar for an ox," from ox + bow (v.). Meaning "bend in a river" is from 1797, Amer.Eng.; meaning "curved lake left after an oxbow meander has been cut off by a change in the river course" is from 1898.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
oxbow   (ŏks'bō')  Pronunciation Key 
A sharp, U-shaped bend in a river. The bend is so sharp that only a narrow neck of land is left between the two parts of the river.
oxbow lake  
A crescent-shaped lake formed when a river changes its course and cuts through the strip of land in the middle of an oxbow, abandoning its previous course and isolating the water in the oxbow.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The river will become straighter and the loop will be left to one side, forming an oxbow lake.
The site hosts a shallow seepage-fed oxbow lake that has become hydrologically isolated from the river.
What was left of the river was later dammed to make the oxbow lake that exists today.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature