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bow1

[bou] /baʊ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to bend the knee or body or incline the head, as in reverence, submission, salutation, recognition, or acknowledgment.
2.
to yield; submit:
to bow to the inevitable.
3.
to bend or curve downward; stoop:
the pines bowed low.
verb (used with object)
4.
to bend or incline (the knee, body, or head) in worship, submission, respect, civility, agreement, etc.:
He bowed his head to the crowd.
5.
to cause to submit; subdue; crush.
6.
to cause to stoop or incline:
Age had bowed his head.
7.
to express by a bow:
to bow one's thanks.
8.
to usher (someone) with a bow (usually followed by in, out, etc.):
They were bowed in by the footman.
9.
to cause to bend; make curved or crooked.
noun
10.
an inclination of the head or body in salutation, assent, thanks, reverence, respect, submission, etc.
Verb phrases
11.
bow out, to resign a position or withdraw from a job, competition, obligation, etc.:
He bowed out after two terms as governor.
Idioms
12.
bow and scrape, to be excessively polite or deferential.
13.
make one's bow, to appear publicly for the first time, as a performer, politician, etc.:
The young pianist made her bow last night to an appreciative audience.
14.
take a bow, to step forward or stand up in order to receive recognition, applause, etc.:
The conductor had the soloists take a bow.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English bowen (v.), Old English būgan; cognate with Dutch buigen; akin to German biegen, Gothic biugan, Old Norse buga, etc.
Related forms
bowedness, noun
bowingly, adverb
Can be confused
bode, bowed.
Synonyms
1. See bend1 . 2. surrender, accede, defer, acquiesce, comply, capitulate.

bow2

[boh] /boʊ/
noun
1.
a flexible strip of wood or other material, bent by a string stretched between its ends, for shooting arrows:
He drew the bow and sent the arrow to its target.
2.
an instrument resembling this, used for various purposes, as rotating a drill or spindle, or loosening entangled or matted fibers.
3.
a bend or curve.
4.
Also called bowknot. a looped knot composed of two or more loops and two ends, as for tying together the ends of a ribbon or string.
5.
any separate piece of looped, knotted, or shaped gathering of ribbon, cloth, paper, etc., used as a decoration, as on a package, dress, or the like.
6.
a long rod, originally curved but now nearly straight, with horsehairs stretched from one end to the other, used for playing on a musical instrument of the violin and viol families.
7.
a single movement of such a device over the strings of a violin, viol, or the like.
8.
9.
something curved or arc-shaped.
10.
a saddlebow.
11.
an archer; bowman:
He is the best bow in the county.
12.
temple2 (def 3).
13.
a U -shaped piece for placing under an animal's neck to hold a yoke.
14.
Building Trades. a flexible rod used for laying out large curves.
15.
the part of a key grasped by the fingers.
16.
the loop on the stem of a watch by which the watch is attached to a chain or the like.
17.
a rainbow.
adjective
18.
curved outward at the center; bent:
bow legs.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
19.
to bend into the form of a bow; curve.
20.
Music. to perform by means of a bow upon a stringed instrument.
21.
Textiles Obsolete. to loosen by passing a vibrating bow among entangled fibers.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English bowe (noun), Old English boga; cognate with Dutch boog, German Bogen, Old Norse bogi; akin to bow1
Related forms
bowedness, noun
bowless, adjective
bowlike, adjective

bow3

[bou] /baʊ/
noun
1.
Nautical, Aeronautics.
  1. the forward end of a vessel or airship.
  2. either side of this forward end, especially with reference to the direction of a distant object:
    a mooring two points off the port bow.
2.
bows, Nautical. the exterior of the forward end of a vessel, especially one in which the hull slopes back on both sides of the stem.
3.
the foremost oar in rowing a boat.
4.
Also called bowman, bow oar. the person who pulls that oar.
adjective
5.
of or pertaining to the bow of a ship.
Idioms
6.
bows on, (of a ship) with the bow foremost:
The vessel approached us bows on.
7.
bows under, (of a ship) shipping water at the bow:
The ship was bows under during most of the storm.
8.
on the bow, Nautical. within 45° to the heading of the vessel.
Origin
1620-30; < Low German boog (noun) or Dutch boeg or Danish bov; see bough

Bow

[boh] /boʊ/
noun
1.
Clara, 1905–65, U.S. film actress: known as the “It Girl.”.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bow
  • When a dolphin discovered a mine, it would swim back to the boat's bow and nose an attached disk or ball.
  • As the sunset exploded over the bow, the moon rose over the stern.
  • Jenny, the bride-to-be, asked for help with the bow on the back.
  • In American orchestras, more women are taking the bow.
  • Tying the perfect bow is not worth tying yourself in knots.
  • The muscles must be developed by shooting a heavier bow.
  • Her father was a violinist who was seldom able to make his living by his bow.
  • They will bow down before us.
  • Relax, take a deep breath, and stop trying to tie the perfect bow.
  • These days many Japanese businessmen and women shake hands, rather than bow.
British Dictionary definitions for bow

bow1

/baʊ/
verb
1.
to lower (one's head) or bend (one's knee or body) as a sign of respect, greeting, assent, or shame
2.
to bend or cause to bend; incline downwards
3.
(intransitive; usually foll by to or before) to comply or accept: bow to the inevitable
4.
(transitive; foll by in, out, to etc) to usher (someone) into or out of a place with bows and deference: the manager bowed us to our car
5.
(transitive; usually foll by down) to bring (a person, nation, etc) to a state of submission
6.
bow and scrape, to behave in an excessively deferential or obsequious way
noun
7.
a lowering or inclination of the head or body as a mark of respect, greeting, or assent
8.
take a bow, to acknowledge or receive applause or praise
See also bow out
Word Origin
Old English būgan, related to Old Norse bjūgr bent, Old High German biogan to bend, Dutch buigen

bow2

/bəʊ/
noun
1.
a weapon for shooting arrows, consisting of an arch of flexible wood, plastic, metal, etc bent by a string (bowstring) fastened at each end See also crossbow
2.
  1. a long slightly curved stick across which are stretched strands of horsehair, used for playing the strings of a violin, viola, cello, or related instrument
  2. a stroke with such a stick
3.
  1. a decorative interlacing of ribbon or other fabrics, usually having two loops and two loose ends
  2. the knot forming such an interlacing; bowknot
4.
  1. something that is curved, bent, or arched
  2. (in combination): rainbow, oxbow, saddlebow
5.
a person who uses a bow and arrow; archer
6.
(US)
  1. a frame of a pair of spectacles
  2. a sidepiece of the frame of a pair of spectacles that curls round behind the ear
7.
a metal ring forming the handle of a pair of scissors or of a large old-fashioned key
8.
(architect) part of a building curved in the form of a bow See also bow window
verb
9.
to form or cause to form a curve or curves
10.
to make strokes of a bow across (violin strings)
Word Origin
Old English boga arch, bow; related to Old Norse bogi a bow, Old High German bogo, Old Irish bocc, and bow1

bow3

/baʊ/
noun
1.
(mainly nautical)
  1. (often pl) the forward end or part of a vessel
  2. (as modifier): the bow mooring line
2.
(rowing) short for bowman2
3.
(nautical) on the port bow, within 45 degrees to the port of straight ahead
4.
(nautical) on the starboard bow, within 45 degrees to the starboard of straight ahead
5.
(informal) a shot across someone's bows, a warning
Word Origin
C15: probably from Low German boog; related to Dutch boeg, Danish bov ship's bow, shoulder; see bough

Bow

/bəʊ/
noun
1.
Clara, known as the It Girl. 1905–65, US film actress, noted for her vivacity and sex appeal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bow
v.

Old English bugan "to bend, to bow down, to bend the body in condescension," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, past participle bogen), from Proto-Germanic *bugon (cf. Dutch buigen, Middle Low German bugen, Old High German biogan, German biegen, Gothic biugan "to bend," Old Norse boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE root *bheug- (3) "to bend," with derivatives referring to bent, pliable, or curved objects (cf. Sanskrit bhujati "bends, thrusts aside;" Old High German boug, Old English beag "a ring"). The noun in this sense is first recorded 1650s. Related: Bowed; bowing. Bow out "withdraw" is from 1942.

n.

weapon for shooting arrows, Old English boga "archery bow, arch, rainbow," from Proto-Germanic *bugon (cf. Old Norse bogi, Old Frisian boga, Dutch boog, German Bogen "bow;" see bow (v.)). The sense of "a looped knot" is from 1540s. The musician's bow (1570s) formerly was curved like the archer's. Bowlegged is attested from 1550s.

"front of a ship," mid-14c., from Old Norse bogr or Middle Dutch boech "bow of a ship," literally "shoulder (of an animal)," the connecting notion being "the shoulders of the ship." See bough.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for bow

BOW

bag of waters (the amniotic sac in pregnancy)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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bow in the Bible

The bow was in use in early times both in war and in the chase (Gen. 21:20; 27:3; 48:22). The tribe of Benjamin were famous for the use of the bow (1 Chr. 8:40; 12:2; 2 Chr. 14:8; 17:17); so also were the Elamites (Isa. 22:6) and the Lydians (Jer. 46:9). The Hebrew word commonly used for bow means properly to tread (1 Chr. 5:18; 8:40), and hence it is concluded that the foot was employed in bending the bow. Bows of steel (correctly "copper") are mentioned (2 Sam. 22:35; Ps. 18:34). The arrows were carried in a quiver (Gen. 27:3; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Ps. 127:5). They were apparently sometimes shot with some burning material attached to them (Ps. 120:4). The bow is a symbol of victory (Ps. 7:12). It denotes also falsehood, deceit (Ps. 64:3, 4; Hos. 7:16; Jer. 9:3). "The use of the bow" in 2 Sam. 1:18 (A.V.) ought to be "the song of the bow," as in the Revised Version.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with bow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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8
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