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oxbow

[oks-boh] /ˈɒksˌboʊ/
noun
1.
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.
2.
Physical Geography, Geology.
  1. a bow-shaped bend in a river, or the land embraced by it.
  2. Also called oxbow lake. a bow-shaped lake formed in a former channel of a river.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English; see ox, bow2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for oxbow lake
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for oxbow lake

oxbow

/ˈɒksˌbəʊ/
noun
1.
a U-shaped piece of wood fitted under and around the neck of a harnessed ox and attached to the yoke
2.
Also called oxbow lake, 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 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 oxbow lake

oxbow

n.

also ox-bow, mid-14c., "wooden collar for an ox," from ox + bow (n.1). Meaning "semicircular bend in a river" is from 1797, American English (New England); meaning "curved lake left after an oxbow meander has been cut off by a change in the river course" is from 1898. The reference is to similarity of shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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oxbow lake in Science
oxbow
  (ŏks'bō')   
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.
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17
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