bow wave


Definition of bow wave 

1 : the wave on either side of the bow of a ship under way

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of bow wave

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bow wave

Dictionary Entries near bow wave

bow tie

bow trolley

bow up

bow wave

bow weight

bow window


Statistics for bow wave

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bow wave

The first known use of bow wave was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Comments on bow wave

What made you want to look up bow wave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!