Definition of


  1. (noun, act) a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments
  2. (noun, artifact) a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments
  3. (noun, artifact) a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow
  4. (noun, artifact) front part of a vessel or aircraft
  5. (noun, artifact) a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces
  6. (noun, artifact) a decorative interlacing of ribbons
  7. (noun, communication) an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience
  8. (noun, communication) bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
  9. (noun, shape) something curved in shape
  10. (verb, communication) yield to another's wish or opinion
  11. (verb, communication) bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head
    She bowed her head in shame
  12. (verb, creation) play on a string instrument with a bow
  13. (verb, motion) bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting
  14. (verb, motion) bend one's back forward from the waist on down
    She bowed before the Queen
    The young man stooped to pick up the girl's purse

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Bow

  1. O.E. bugan "to bend, to bow down, to bend the body in condescension," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, pp. bogen), from P.Gmc. *bugon (cf. Du. buigen, M.L.G. bugen, O.H.G. biogan, Ger. biegen, Goth. biugan "to bend," O.N. boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE base *bheugh… more
  2. weapon for shooting arrows, O.E. boga "archery bow, arch, rainbow," from P.Gmc. *bugon (cf. O.N. bogi, O.Fris. boga, Du. boog, Ger. Bogen "bow;" see bow (v.)). The sense of "a looped knot" is from 1540s. The musician's bow (1570s) formerly was curved like the archer's. Bowlegged is attested from 1550s. more
  3. "front of a ship," mid-14c., from O.N. bogr or M.Du. boech "bow of a ship," lit. "shoulder (of an animal)," the connecting notion being "the shoulders of the ship." See bough. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Bow

b, b-52, b.o., ba, baa, baba, babe, baboo, babu, baby, bahai, bai, baobab, bap, baphia, bawbee, bay, bay of ob, baya, bayou, bb, be, beau, bebop, bee, beef, beef up, beefy, beehive, beep, behave, behoove, behove, bevy, bey, bh, bi, bib, biff, bo hai, boa, bob

via soundex() Hash Matches

Note: If you're looking to improve your vocabulary right now, we highly recommend Ultimate Vocabulary Software.

Word of the Moment


improper or wicked or immoral behavior