a flexible strip of wood or other material, bent by a string stretched between its ends, for shooting arrows:
He drew the bow and sent the arrow to its target.
an instrument resembling this, used for various purposes, as rotating a drill or spindle, or loosening entangled or matted fibers.
a bend or curve.
Also called bowknot. a looped knot composed of two or more loops and two ends, as for tying together the ends of a ribbon or string.
any separate piece of looped, knotted, or shaped gathering of ribbon, cloth, paper, etc., used as a decoration, as on a package, dress, or the like.
a long rod, originally curved but now nearly straight, with horsehairs stretched from one end to the other, used for playing on a musical instrument of the violin and viol families.
a single movement of such a device over the strings of a violin, viol, or the like.
bow tie.
something curved or arc-shaped.
a saddlebow.
an archer; bowman:
He is the best bow in the county.
temple2 (def 3).
a U -shaped piece for placing under an animal’s neck to hold a yoke.
Building Trades. a flexible rod used for laying out large curves.
the part of a key grasped by the fingers.
the loop on the stem of a watch by which the watch is attached to a chain or the like.
a rainbow.
curved outward at the center; bent:
bow legs.
to bend into the form of a bow; curve.
Music. to perform by means of a bow upon a stringed instrument.
Textiles Obsolete. to loosen by passing a vibrating bow among entangled fibers.
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)

bow and scrape
bow out


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