ox·​bow | \ ˈäks-ˌbō How to pronounce oxbow (audio) \

Definition of oxbow

1 : a U-shaped frame forming a collar about an ox's neck and holding the yoke in place
2 : something (such as a bend in a river) resembling an oxbow

Illustration of oxbow

Illustration of oxbow

oxbow 1

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Other Words from oxbow

oxbow adjective

Examples of oxbow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Mitchell said alligators have been known to lurk in a nearby oxbow. Joe Holley, Houston Chronicle, "The remarkable Ana Maria Calvillo: She could ride, shoot, ranch and live in peace with the Indians," 29 June 2018 That parenthesis of water alongside the main channel is an oxbow. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Too Much Engineering Has Made Mississippi River Floods Worse," 4 Apr. 2018 For an even closer encounter, stay in Angama Mara’s high-luxe equivalent on the Tanzanian side, the Singita Mara River Tented Camp, which is built above an oxbow. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Ultimate Safari: Seeing the Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania," 25 Apr. 2018 From the Gulf Coast, my path leads me north into the interior bottomlands of Louisiana and Mississippi, with their mix of hardwood swamp forest, river oxbows, row-crop agriculture, and the tiny old towns of the lower Mississippi. Bruce M. Beehler, Smithsonian, "Thirty-Seven Warblers in a Hundred Days," 16 Apr. 2018 Muñoz and his colleagues have attempted to extend this record back to roughly 1500 by sampling bottom sediments from three oxbow lakes in Mississippi and Louisiana. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Taming the Mighty Mississippi May Have Caused Bigger Floods," 10 Apr. 2018 In a flood, water churns up chunks of sediment and spreads into the oxbow. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Too Much Engineering Has Made Mississippi River Floods Worse," 4 Apr. 2018 The river in flood cuts an oxbow, the overfull dam gives way. Olga Ingurazova, Smithsonian, "What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?," 29 Sep. 2017 Unlike most of Houston, 45 minutes north, the low-lying community, built around several small oxbow lakes, remained mired long after Harvey passed. Maggie Fox, NBC News, "For This Family, Hurricane Harvey Was Only the Latest Blow," 21 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of oxbow

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near oxbow



ox bot


oxbow lake

oxbow stirrup


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Time Traveler for oxbow

The first known use of oxbow was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of oxbow

US : a place where a river curves in the shape of a U


ox·​bow | \ ˈäks-ˌbō How to pronounce oxbow (audio) \

Kids Definition of oxbow

: a bend in a river in the shape of a U

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