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the act or art of playing a stringed instrument with a bow.
the individual way of using the bow in playing a stringed instrument, including the way in which the musician approaches the music emotionally, the articulation of individual notes, and the manner in which the notes of a passage are grouped together.
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.
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.
Contemporary Examples

Susan G. Komen Foundation Cuts Planned Parenthood Funding Over Abortion Michelle Goldberg February 1, 2012
Komen Faces Backlash After Pulling Planned Parenthood Funds: Latest News, Tweets, and More The Daily Beast February 1, 2012
A Prominent Jesuit Talks About the Order’s First Pope Abby Haglage March 13, 2013
A Personal Plea for Gun Control Joshua DuBois April 9, 2013
The Next Glenn Beck Samuel P. Jacobs February 6, 2010

Historical Examples

Terribly Intimate Portraits Nol Coward
The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
Musical Myths and Facts, Volume I (of 2) Carl Engel
The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
Dark Hollow Anna Katherine Green

the technique of using the bow in playing a violin, viola, cello, or related instrument
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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