bows·​man | \ ˈbau̇zmən \
plural bowsmen

Definition of bowsman

: a crew member of a small boat who is usually stationed in the bow, not assigned to an oar, and usually has some supervisory status

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History and Etymology for bowsman

by folk etymology (influence of bow entry 5) from French bosseman, probably from obsolete Low German bossman, alteration of (assumed) Low German bootsman, from boots (genitive of boot boat, from Middle Low German, from Middle English) + man, from Old Saxon; akin to Old High German man

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Cite this Entry

“Bowsman.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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