See also: Bow, BoW, and BOW

English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English bowe, from Old English boga, Proto-West Germanic *bogō, from Proto-Germanic *bugô.

Cognate with West Frisian boge, Dutch boog, German Bogen, Swedish båge.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

 
a bow (sense 1)
 
Four different types of bow (sense 3)
 
A gift box wrapped with a bow (sense 5)

bow (plural bows)

  1. A weapon made of a curved piece of wood or other flexible material whose ends are connected by a string, used for shooting arrows.
  2. A curved bend in a rod or planar surface, or in a linear formation such as a river (see oxbow).
  3. A rod with horsehair (or an artificial substitute) stretched between the ends, used for playing various stringed musical instruments.
  4. A stringed instrument (chordophone), consisting of a stick with a single taut cord stretched between the ends, most often played by plucking.
  5. A type of knot with two loops, used to tie together two cords such as shoelaces or apron strings, and frequently used as decoration, such as in gift-wrapping.
  6. Anything bent or curved, such as a rainbow.
  7. The U-shaped piece which goes around the neck of an ox and fastens it to the yoke.
  8. Either of the arms of a pair of spectacles, running from the side of the lens to behind the wearer's ear.
    • 1991, Stephen King, Needful Things:
      [] she kept toying with a pair of old sunglasses which lay beside her on the kitchen table. One of the bows had been mended with adhesive tape, and one of the lenses was cracked.
  9. Any instrument consisting of an elastic rod, with ends connected by a string, employed for giving reciprocating motion to a drill, or for preparing and arranging hair, fur, etc., used by hatters.
  10. (nautical) A crude sort of quadrant formerly used for taking the sun's altitude at sea.
  11. (saddlery) Two pieces of wood which form the arched forward part of a saddletree.
  12. The part of a key that is not inserted into the lock and that is used to turn the key.
    Coordinate term: blade
  13. Either of the two handles of a pair of scissors.
Synonyms edit
Hyponyms edit
archery
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Verb edit

bow (third-person singular simple present bows, present participle bowing, simple past and past participle bowed)

  1. To play music on (a stringed) instrument using a bow.
    The musician bowed his violin expertly.
  2. (intransitive) To become bent or curved.
    The shelf bowed under the weight of the books.
  3. (transitive) To make something bend or curve.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To exercise powerful or controlling influence over; to bend, figuratively; to turn; to incline.
    • 1625, Francis [Bacon], “Of Atheism”, in The Essayes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, →OCLC:
      Adversities do more bow men's minds to religion.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, edited by James Nichols, The Church History of Britain, [], new edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      not to bow and bias their opinions
      The spelling has been modernized.
  5. (transitive, figurative) To humble or subdue, to make submit.
    • 1829, Edgar Allan Poe, “Tamerlane”, in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems:
      Know thou the secret of a spirit
      Bow’d from its wild pride into shame.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English bowen, buwen, buȝen, from Old English būgan, from Proto-West Germanic *beugan, from Proto-Germanic *beuganą, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰūgʰ- (to bend). Cognate with West Frisian bûge (to bow), Dutch buigen (to bow), German biegen (to bow), Danish bue (to curve, arch).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

bow (third-person singular simple present bows, present participle bowing, simple past and past participle bowed)

  1. (intransitive) To bend oneself as a gesture of respect or deference.
    • 1900 May 17, L[yman] Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y.: Geo[rge] M. Hill Co., →OCLC:
      The soldier now blew upon a green whistle, and at once a young girl, dressed in a pretty green silk gown, entered the room. She had lovely green hair and green eyes, and she bowed low before Dorothy as she said, "Follow me and I will show you your room."
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter IV, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      I told him about everything I could think of; and what I couldn't think of he did. He asked about six questions during my yarn, but every question had a point to it. At the end he bowed and thanked me once more. As a thanker he was main-truck high; I never see anybody so polite.
    That singer always bows towards her audience for some reason.
  2. (transitive and intransitive) To debut.
    • 1979, Bruce Cassiday, Dinah!: A Biography, page 115:
      The show bowed in the first week of December, 1951. Dinah was ready, and so were the technicians who put on her makeup []
    • 2010 (publication date), Kara Krekeler, "Rebuilding the opera house", West End Word, volume 39, number 26, December 22, 2010 – January 11, 2011, page 1:
      SCP recently announced that How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical will bow on the newly renovated stage next December.
  3. (intransitive) To defer (to something).
    I bow to your better judgement in the matter.
  4. (transitive) To give a direction, indication, or command to by bowing.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 7, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 124:
      Poirot rose gallantly, bowed her into the seat opposite him.
    • 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 302:
      He saw himself, in a smart suit and a songkok, bowed into the opulent suites of Ritzes and Waldorfs and baring, under dark glasses, a hairy chest to a milder sun by a snakeless sea.
Hypernyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun edit

bow (plural bows)

  1. A gesture, usually showing respect, made by inclining the head or bending forward at the waist; a reverence
    He made a polite bow as he entered the room.
Hypernyms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 3 edit

PIE word
*bʰeh₂ǵʰús
 
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Wikipedia

From Middle English bowe, bowgh, a borrowing from Middle Low German bôch and/or Middle Dutch boech, from Proto-Germanic *bōguz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₂ǵʰus (arm). Cognate with Dutch boeg (bow), Danish bov (bow), Swedish bog (bow). Doublet of bough.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

 
The bow of a ship.

bow (plural bows)

  1. (nautical) The front of a boat or ship.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 6, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      The night was considerably clearer than anybody on board her desired when the schooner Ventura headed for the land. It rose in places, black and sharp against the velvety indigo, over her dipping bow, though most of the low littoral was wrapped in obscurity.
  2. (rowing) The rower that sits in the seat closest to the bow of the boat.
Usage notes edit
  • Often used in the plural, the ship being considered to have starboard and port bows, meeting at the stem.
Synonyms edit
Antonyms edit
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Translations edit

Etymology 4 edit

See bough.

Noun edit

bow (plural bows)

  1. Obsolete spelling of bough

Etymology 5 edit

Borrowed from Mandarin (bāo) or Cantonese (baau1)

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

bow (plural bows)

  1. Alternative form of bao; any of several Chinese buns and breads
Derived terms edit

See bao

Translations edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

References edit

Anagrams edit

Sranan Tongo edit

Etymology edit

From Dutch bouwen (to build).

Verb edit

bow

  1. to build
  2. (figurative, with tapu) to trust, to depend on
    wan sma di yu kan bow na en tapusomeone you can depend on

Vilamovian edit

 
1. bow

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

bōw f (plural bowa)

  1. woman
  2. wife