cross·​bow ˈkrȯs-ˌbō How to pronounce crossbow (audio)
: a weapon for shooting quarrels and stones that consists chiefly of a short bow mounted crosswise near the end of a stock

Illustration of crossbow

Illustration of crossbow

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web With a bow or crossbow, wait for a good quartering away shot, and drive the arrow up into the vitals. The Editors, Field & Stream, 9 Jan. 2023 The 2021 hunting season produced record whitetails in the archery and crossbow categories. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 17 Nov. 2022 Required for biopsying a gray whale: one speed boat, one crossbow, and one Russian prime minister. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 26 Aug. 2010 The blacks have 30 knights, 100 crossbow men, and 300 men in arms. Erica Gonzales, ELLE, 23 Oct. 2022 Stronger violence includes moments of threat, with a character about to be executed, a main character shot with a crossbow bolt and another falling from a high bridge. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2022 Lonnie Leroy Coffman, a 72-year-old military veteran, was sentenced to 46 months after parking a truck near the Capitol filled with Molotov cocktails, a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun, a crossbow, a stun gun, a machete, and 11 jars of homemade napalm. The Week Staff, The Week, 26 Sep. 2022 Youth/senior crossbow: Sept. 3, 2022-Jan. 16, 2023. Joe Harrington, The Enquirer, 23 Sep. 2022 Deer hunting, which attracts the most license buyers each year, opens Sept. 17 with the crossbow and archery seasons. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crossbow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crossbow was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near crossbow

Cite this Entry

“Crossbow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


cross·​bow -ˌbō How to pronounce crossbow (audio)
: a short bow mounted crosswise near the end of a wooden stock that shoots short arrows

More from Merriam-Webster on crossbow

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