bow

verb (1)
\ ˈbau̇ \
bowed; bowing; bows

Definition of bow 

(Entry 1 of 6)

intransitive verb

1 : to cease from competition or resistance : submit, yield refusing to bow to the inevitable —John O'Hara also : to suffer defeat bowed to the champion

2 : to bend the head, body, or knee in reverence, submission, or shame Bow before the king. bowed her head in shame

3 : to incline the head or body in salutation or assent or to acknowledge applause bowing to the audience

4 : debut the play will bow next month

transitive verb

1 : to cause to incline wind bowing the treetops

2 : to incline especially in respect or submission bow their heads in prayer

3 : to crush with a heavy burden whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave Shakespeare

4a : to express by bending the head, body, or knee : to express by bowing bowing his appreciation

b : to usher in or out with a bow (see bow entry 2)

bow

noun (1)
\ ˈbau̇ \

Definition of bow (Entry 2 of 6)

: a bending of the head or body in respect, submission, assent, or salutation also : a show of respect or submission smiled and gave a bow

bow

noun (2)
\ ˈbō \

Definition of bow (Entry 3 of 6)

1a : something bent into a simple curve or arc

b : rainbow

2 : a weapon that is used to propel an arrow and that is made of a strip of flexible material (such as wood) with a cord connecting the two ends and holding the strip bent hunting with bow and arrow

3 : archer

4a : a metal ring or loop forming a handle (as of a key)

b : a knot formed by doubling a ribbon or string into two or more loops

c : bow tie sense 1

d : a frame for the lenses of eyeglasses also : the sidepiece of the frame passing over the ear

5 music

a : a wooden rod with horsehairs stretched from end to end used in playing an instrument of the viol or violin family

b : a stroke of such a bow on the up bow

bow

verb (2)
\ ˈbō \
bowed; bowing; bows

Definition of bow (Entry 4 of 6)

intransitive verb

1 : to bend into a curve the wall bows a little

2 music : to play a stringed instrument with a bow (see bow entry 3 sense 5a)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to bend into a curve Years of riding had bowed his legs.

2 music : to play (a stringed instrument) with a bow bowing the strings

bow

noun (3)
\ ˈbau̇ \

Definition of bow (Entry 5 of 6)

1 nautical : the forward part of a ship often used in plural crossing the bows

2 nautical : bowman entry 2

Bow

geographical name
\ ˈbō \

Definition of Bow (Entry 6 of 6)

river 315 miles (507 kilometers) long in southwestern Alberta, Canada, rising in Banff National Park

First Known Use of bow

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (3)

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bow

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English būgan; akin to Old High German biogan to bend, Sanskrit bhujati he bends

Noun (1)

see bow entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English bowe, from Old English boga; akin to Old English būgan

Verb (2)

see bow entry 3

Noun (3)

Middle English bowe, bowgh, probably from Middle Dutch boech bow, shoulder; akin to Old English bōg bough

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Learn More about bow

Dictionary Entries near bow

bovo

bovoid

Bovoidea

bow

Bow

Bow's notation

bow and scrape

Statistics for bow

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bow

The first known use of bow was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

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More Definitions for bow

bow

verb
\ ˈbau̇ \
bowed; bowing

Kids Definition of bow

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : to bend the head or body as an act of politeness or respect

2 : to stop resisting : yield He bowed to pressure to resign.

bow

noun

Kids Definition of bow (Entry 2 of 5)

: the act of bending the head or body to express politeness or respect

bow

noun
\ ˈbō \

Kids Definition of bow (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : a weapon used for shooting arrows and usually made of a strip of wood bent by a cord connecting the two ends

2 : something shaped in a curve

3 : a knot made with one or more loops Tie the ribbon in a bow.

4 : a rod with horsehairs stretched from end to end used for playing a stringed instrument (as a violin)

bow

verb
\ ˈbō \
bowed; bowing

Kids Definition of bow (Entry 4 of 5)

: to bend or cause to bend into a curve The wall bows out.

bow

noun
\ ˈbau̇ \

Kids Definition of bow (Entry 5 of 5)

: the forward part of a ship

bow

noun
\ ˈbō \

Medical Definition of bow 

: a frame for the lenses of eyeglasses also : the curved sidepiece of the frame passing over the ear

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Comments on bow

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