9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[prou] /praʊ/
the forepart of a ship or boat; bow.
the front end of an airship.
Literary. a ship.
Origin of prow1
1545-55; < Middle French proue < Upper Italian (Genoese) prua < Latin prōra < Greek prôira
Related forms
prowed, adjective


[prou] /praʊ/
adjective, Archaic.
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French prou < Vulgar Latin *prōdis. See proud Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for prow
  • Its rigid, narrow prow is designed for maximum thrills-per-minute.
  • Use a prow shape between the ocean and the building, and remember the debris and backflow.
  • Nearly ten feet of the yacht's stern was cut off by the sharp prow of the steamboat.
  • The bowsprit is a pole that stretches out over the sea from the prow of the ship.
  • It was a white ship with a high prow that threw a wide shadow.
  • It is partially sheathed on the sides and has a deep overhang reminiscent of the rakish prow of a ship.
  • The pulpit seen in that movie is unmistakably the prow of a ship.
British Dictionary definitions for prow


the bow of a vessel
Word Origin
C16: from Old French proue, from Latin prora, from Greek prōra; related to Latin pro in front
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 prow

"forepart of a ship," 1550s, from Middle French proue, from Italian (Genoese) prua, from Vulgar Latin *proda, by dissimilation from Latin prora "prow," from Greek proira, related to pro "before, forward," proi "early in the morning," from PIE *pre-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

Middle English and early Modern English (and Scott) had prore in same sense, from Latin. Modern Italian has proda only in sense "shore, bank." Prow and poop meant "the whole ship," hence 16c.-17c. figurative use of the expression for "the whole" (of anything).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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