to bend the knee or body or incline the head, as in reverence, submission, salutation, recognition, or acknowledgment.
to yield; submit:
to bow to the inevitable.
to bend or curve downward; stoop:
the pines bowed low.
to bend or incline (the knee, body, or head) in worship, submission, respect, civility, agreement, etc.:
He bowed his head to the crowd.
to cause to submit; subdue; crush.
to cause to stoop or incline:
Age had bowed his head.
to express by a bow:
to bow one’s thanks.
to usher (someone) with a bow (usually followed by in, out, etc.):
They were bowed in by the footman.
to cause to bend; make curved or crooked.
an inclination of the head or body in salutation, assent, thanks, reverence, respect, submission, etc.
bow out, to resign a position or withdraw from a job, competition, obligation, etc.:
He bowed out after two terms as governor.
bow and scrape, to be excessively polite or deferential.
make one’s bow, to appear publicly for the first time, as a performer, politician, etc.:
The young pianist made her bow last night to an appreciative audience.
take a bow, to step forward or stand up in order to receive recognition, applause, etc.:
The conductor had the soloists take a bow.
to lower (one’s head) or bend (one’s knee or body) as a sign of respect, greeting, assent, or shame
to bend or cause to bend; incline downwards
(intransitive; usually foll by to or before) to comply or accept: bow to the inevitable
(transitive; foll by in, out, to etc) to usher (someone) into or out of a place with bows and deference: the manager bowed us to our car
(transitive; usually foll by down) to bring (a person, nation, etc) to a state of submission
bow and scrape, to behave in an excessively deferential or obsequious way
a lowering or inclination of the head or body as a mark of respect, greeting, or assent
take a bow, to acknowledge or receive applause or praise
a weapon for shooting arrows, consisting of an arch of flexible wood, plastic, metal, etc bent by a string (bowstring) fastened at each end See also crossbow

a long slightly curved stick across which are stretched strands of horsehair, used for playing the strings of a violin, viola, cello, or related instrument
a stroke with such a stick

a decorative interlacing of ribbon or other fabrics, usually having two loops and two loose ends
the knot forming such an interlacing; bowknot

something that is curved, bent, or arched
(in combination): rainbow, oxbow, saddlebow

a person who uses a bow and arrow; archer

a frame of a pair of spectacles
a sidepiece of the frame of a pair of spectacles that curls round behind the ear

a metal ring forming the handle of a pair of scissors or of a large old-fashioned key
(architect) part of a building curved in the form of a bow See also bow window
to form or cause to form a curve or curves
to make strokes of a bow across (violin strings)
(mainly nautical)

(often pl) the forward end or part of a vessel
(as modifier): the bow mooring line

(rowing) short for bowman2
(nautical) on the port bow, within 45 degrees to the port of straight ahead
(nautical) on the starboard bow, within 45 degrees to the starboard of straight ahead
(informal) a shot across someone’s bows, a warning
Clara, known as the It Girl. 1905–65, US film actress, noted for her vivacity and sex appeal
bag of waters (the amniotic sac in pregnancy)

Behave obsequiously or too deferentially, as in In this fashionable store, the salespersons virtually bow and scrape before customers. This term alludes to the old-fashioned custom of bowing so deeply that one’s foot draws back and scrapes the ground. A cliché for a century or more, it may be dying out. [ Mid-1600s ]

bow and scrape
bow out


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