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

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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
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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
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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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Oxbow is such a foodie paradise, you almost expect harps to play and angels to flutter as you enter the building.
The river will become straighter and the loop will be left to one side, forming an oxbow lake.
Oxbow lakes tend to be fairly small in size, as well as irregularly shaped.
Oxbow repaired the flippers on the longwall supports.
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