Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nautical The front section of a ship or boat.
  • n. Nautical The oar or the person wielding the oar closest to the bow.
  • intransitive v. To bend or curve downward; stoop.
  • intransitive v. To incline the body or head or bend the knee in greeting, consent, courtesy, acknowledgment, submission, or veneration.
  • intransitive v. To yield in defeat or out of courtesy; submit. See Synonyms at yield.
  • transitive v. To bend (the head, knee, or body) to express greeting, consent, courtesy, acknowledgment, submission, or veneration.
  • transitive v. To convey (greeting, for example) by bending the body.
  • transitive v. To escort deferentially: bowed us into the restaurant.
  • transitive v. To cause to acquiesce; submit.
  • transitive v. To overburden: Grief bowed them down.
  • n. An inclination of the head or body, as in greeting, consent, courtesy, acknowledgment, submission, or veneration.
  • bow out To remove oneself; withdraw.
  • idiom bow and scrape To behave obsequiously.
  • n. A bent, curved, or arched object.
  • n. A weapon consisting of a curved, flexible strip of material, especially wood, strung taut from end to end and used to launch arrows.
  • n. An archer.
  • n. Archers considered as a group.
  • n. Music A rod having horsehair drawn tightly between its two raised ends, used in playing instruments of the violin and viol families.
  • n. A stroke made by this rod.
  • n. A knot usually having two loops and two ends; a bowknot.
  • n. A frame for the lenses of a pair of eyeglasses.
  • n. The part of such a frame passing over the ear.
  • n. A rainbow.
  • n. An oxbow.
  • transitive v. To bend (something) into the shape of a bow.
  • transitive v. Music To play (a stringed instrument) with a bow.
  • intransitive v. To bend into a curve or bow.
  • intransitive v. Music To play a stringed instrument with a bow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A weapon made of a curved piece of wood or other flexible material whose ends are connected by a string, used for shooting arrows.
  • n. A curved bend in a rod or planar surface, or in a linear formation such as a river (see oxbow).
  • n. A rod with horsehair (or an artificial substitute) stretched between the ends, used for playing various stringed musical instruments.
  • n. A stringed instrument, similar to the item described above.
  • n. A type of knot with two loops, used to tie together two cords such as shoelaces or apron strings, and frequently used as decoration, such as in gift-wrapping.
  • v. To play music on (a stringed instrument) using a bow.
  • v. To become bent or curved.
  • v. To make something bend or curve.
  • v. To premiere.
  • n. A gesture, usually showing respect, made by bending forward at the waist.
  • n. A debut
  • v. To bend oneself as a gesture of respect or deference.
  • v. To debut.
  • v. To defer (to something).
  • n. The front of a boat or ship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inclination of the head, or a bending of the body, in token of reverence, respect, civility, or submission; an obeisance.
  • n. Anything bent, or in the form of a curve, as the rainbow.
  • n. A weapon made of a strip of wood, or other elastic material, with a cord connecting the two ends, by means of which an arrow is propelled.
  • n. An ornamental knot, with projecting loops, formed by doubling a ribbon or string.
  • n. The U-shaped piece which embraces the neck of an ox and fastens it to the yoke.
  • n. An appliance consisting of an elastic rod, with a number of horse hairs stretched from end to end of it, used in playing on a stringed instrument.
  • n. An arcograph.
  • n. Any instrument consisting of an elastic rod, with ends connected by a string, employed for giving reciprocating motion to a drill, or for preparing and arranging the hair, fur, etc., used by hatters.
  • n. A rude sort of quadrant formerly used for taking the sun's altitude at sea.
  • n. Two pieces of wood which form the arched forward part of a saddletree.
  • n. The bending or rounded part of a ship forward; the stream or prow.
  • n. One who rows in the forward part of a boat; the bow oar.
  • intransitive v. To bend; to curve.
  • intransitive v. To stop.
  • intransitive v. To bend the head, knee, or body, in token of reverence or submission; -- often with down.
  • intransitive v. To incline the head in token of salutation, civility, or assent; to make bow.
  • intransitive v. To play (music) with a bow.
  • transitive v. To cause to deviate from straightness; to bend; to inflect; to make crooked or curved.
  • transitive v. To exercise powerful or controlling influence over; to bend, figuratively; to turn; to incline.
  • transitive v. To bend or incline, as the head or body, in token of respect, gratitude, assent, homage, or condescension.
  • transitive v. To cause to bend down; to prostrate; to depress,;� to crush; to subdue.
  • transitive v. To express by bowing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become bent or crooked; assume a curved form; bend; curve.
  • To tend; turn; incline.
  • To bend or curve downward; take a bent posture or attitude; stoop.
  • To bend the neck under a yoke; submit or become subject; yield: as, to bow to the inevitable.
  • To bend the body or head in worship, or in token of reverence, respect, or submission: with to or before, and sometimes emphasized by down.
  • To make a bow; incline the body or the head toward a person by way of salutation or friendly recognition, or in acknowledgment of some courtesy.
  • To cause to bend; make curved or crooked; cause to assume and retain a bent shape.
  • To cause to stoop or become bent, as with old age or a burden; hence, to crush.
  • To cause to bend in submission; cause to submit; subdue.
  • To bend; inflect; cause to deviate from a given condition.
  • To incline; turn in a particular direction; influence.
  • To bend or incline in worship or adoration, or in token of submission, homage, respect, civility, condescension, or attention.
  • To express by a bow or by bowing: as, to bow one's thanks or assent.
  • To accompany or usher in, out, etc., with a bow or bows.
  • To bend into the form of a bow; inflect; curve: as, to bow a ribbon; bowed shutters.
  • In music: To perform by means of a bow upon a stringed instrument: as, to bow a passage well.
  • To mark (a passage) so as to indicate the proper method of bowing.
  • In hat-making, to separate and distribute in the basket (the filaments of felting-fur) by means of a bow.
  • To be curved or bent.
  • To perform or play by means of the bow: as, a violinist who bows with great taste.
  • n. An inclination of the head or a bending of the body in salutation, or in token of reverence, respect, civility, submission, assent, or thanks.
  • n. A bend; a curve.
  • n. A weapon consisting of a strong strip of elastic wood or other elastic material, with a string stretched between its ends, used for shooting arrows.
  • n. The name of several implements shaped like a bent bow.
  • n. An implement consisting of a piece of wood curved, and having a string extended from one extremity to the other, used by smiths in turning a drill, by turners in turning wood, and by hatters in preparing fur and wool for their use.
  • n. Any bent or curved thing.
  • n. The part of a yoke which embraces the animal's neck; hence, the yoke itself.
  • n. In saddlery, one of two pieces of wood, united so as to form an arch fitting the horse's back, which serve to give the saddle its proper form.
  • n. In firearms, the guard of the trigger. The bent guard of a sword-hilt.
  • n. One of the bent slats which support the hood, canopy, or tilt of a covered wagon or carriage.
  • n. The framing of the lenses of a pair of spectacles.
  • n. In architecture: (I) An arch (of masonry), as in a gateway or bridge or in a flying buttress.
  • n. A part of a building which projects from a straight wall, properly curved, but sometimes, more loosely, polygonal in plan. In drafting, a flexible strip which can be bent to any desired curve; an arcograph.
  • n. An instrument formerly used for taking the sun's altitude at sea, consisting of a large arch of 90° graduated, a shank or staff, a side vane, a sight-vane, and a horizon-vane.
  • n. A knot composed of one or two loops and two ends; a bow-knot; hence, a (“single bow” or “double bow”) looped ornamental knot of ribbon, etc.; a ribbon, neck-tie; etc., tied in such a knot.
  • n. A stroke of the bow of a violin: as, the up-bow or the down-bow.
  • n. A ring or loop of metal forming a handle.
  • n. . Same as bough. Compare with bowpot for boughpot.
  • n. Nautical, the forward part or head of a ship, beginning where the sides trend inward, and terminating where they close or unite in the stem or prow. A narrow bow is called a lean bow; a broad one, a bold or bluff bow.
  • n. The foremost oar used in rowing a boat, or the person who pulls that oar; the bow-oar.
  • n. A Scotch form of boll.
  • n. A herd of cattle; the stock of cattle on a farm: as, a bow of kye (that is, cows).
  • n. The provisions of a benefice granted by the pope.
  • n. A curved piece of metal used to make contact with an electric wire to get current for operating a car. This bow is used in place of a trolley.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. yield to another's wish or opinion
  • v. bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head
  • v. bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting
  • n. a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments
  • n. something curved in shape
  • v. play on a string instrument with a bow
  • v. bend one's back forward from the waist on down
  • n. a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments
  • n. a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow
  • n. an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience
  • n. front part of a vessel or aircraft
  • n. bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
  • n. a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces
  • n. a decorative interlacing of ribbons

Etymologies

Middle English boue, probably of Low German origin; see bheug- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English bowen, from Old English būgan; see bheug- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English bowe, from Old English boga; see bheug- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English boga, from Proto-Germanic *bugô. Cognate with Dutch boog, German Bogen, Swedish båge, Danish bue. (Wiktionary)
From Old English būgan, from Proto-Germanic *beuganan. Cognate with Dutch buigen, German biegen. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • IE root bheug- v I E root bhāghu-

    February 5, 2013

  • Take a bow.

    January 14, 2010

  • Take a bow or draw a bow.

    November 22, 2007