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

Other Words from oxbow

oxbow adjective

Examples of oxbow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just past the Butler campus, nestled in a triangular piece of land between an oxbow of the White River and the central canal, the town at first glance appears to be mostly trees. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Nov. 2020 An oxbow is a lake that forms when a section of a river is cut off, leaving a separate body of water. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, 26 June 2020 Near an oxbow in the creek beneath us, a herd of buffalo graze. National Geographic, 16 Jan. 2020 Looping tracts of bare red clay traced the oxbows of the Madre de Dios, sucked dry to wash gold. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 Mitchell said alligators have been known to lurk in a nearby oxbow. Joe Holley, Houston Chronicle, 29 June 2018 That parenthesis of water alongside the main channel is an oxbow. Adam Rogers, WIRED, 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, 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, 16 Apr. 2018

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

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Dictionary Entries Near oxbow

ox bot


oxbow lake

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Cite this Entry

“Oxbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxbow. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for oxbow



English Language Learners Definition of oxbow

: 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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