• Nobody must carry a cross-bow
    Nobody must carry a cross-bow
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v bow yield to another's wish or opinion "The government bowed to the military pressure"
    • v bow bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head "He bowed before the King","She bowed her head in shame"
    • v bow play on a string instrument with a bow
    • v bow bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting "He bowed before the King"
    • v bow bend one's back forward from the waist on down "he crouched down","She bowed before the Queen","The young man stooped to pick up the girl's purse"
    • n bow a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments
    • n bow a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments
    • n bow a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow
    • n bow front part of a vessel or aircraft "he pointed the bow of the boat toward the finish line"
    • n bow a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces
    • n bow a decorative interlacing of ribbons
    • n bow an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience
    • n bow bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
    • n bow something curved in shape
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Prince bows over his offering to the lion The Prince bows over his offering to the lion
The youth bows before the sultan, as birds fly around him The youth bows before the sultan, as birds fly around him
Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow
bows and arrows bows and arrows
I see him bow and smile I see him bow and smile

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The cross bow was invented by the Chinese and records of its usage goes back to as far as the Three Kingdom Period (220 a.d.-280 a.d.).
    • Bow (Naut) A rude sort of quadrant formerly used for taking the sun's altitude at sea.
    • Bow 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.
    • Bow (Mus) 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.
    • Bow An arcograph.
    • n Bow bou An inclination of the head, or a bending of the body, in token of reverence, respect, civility, or submission; an obeisance; as, a bow of deep humility.
    • Bow An ornamental knot, with projecting loops, formed by doubling a ribbon or string.
    • Bow (Mech. & Manuf) 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.
    • Bow Anything bent, or in the form of a curve, as the rainbow. "I do set my bow in the cloud."
    • Bow (Naut) One who rows in the forward part of a boat; the bow oar.
    • Bow (Naut) The bending or rounded part of a ship forward; the stream or prow.
    • Bow The U-shaped piece which embraces the neck of an ox and fastens it to the yoke.
    • Bow To bend or incline, as the head or body, in token of respect, gratitude, assent, homage, or condescension. "They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him."
    • Bow To bend the head, knee, or body, in token of reverence or submission; -- often with down. "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker."
    • Bow To bend; to curve.
    • Bow To cause to bend down; to prostrate; to depress,; to crush; to subdue. "Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave."
    • Bow To cause to deviate from straightness; to bend; to inflect; to make crooked or curved. "We bow things the contrary way, to make them come to their natural straightness.""The whole nation bowed their necks to the worst kind of tyranny."
    • Bow To exercise powerful or controlling influence over; to bend, figuratively; to turn; to incline. "Adversities do more bow men's minds to religion.""Not to bow and bias their opinions."
    • Bow To express by bowing; as, to bow one's thanks.
    • Bow To incline the head in token of salutation, civility, or assent; to make bow. "Admired, adored by all circling crowd,
      For wheresoe'er she turned her face, they bowed ."
    • v. i Bow To play (music) with a bow.
    • Bow To stop. "They stoop, they bow down together."
    • Bow (Saddlery) Two pieces of wood which form the arched forward part of a saddletree.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The range of a medieval long-bow is 220 yards
    • bow To become bent or crooked; assume a curved form; bend; curve.
    • bow To tend; turn; incline.
    • bow To bend or curve downward; take a bent posture or attitude; stoop.
    • bow To bend the neck under a yoke; submit or become subject; yield: as, to bow to the inevitable.
    • bow 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.
    • bow 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.
    • bow To cause to bend; make curved or crooked; cause to assume and retain a bent shape.
    • bow To cause to stoop or become bent, as with old age or a burden; hence, to crush.
    • bow To cause to bend in submission; cause to submit; subdue.
    • bow To bend; inflect; cause to deviate from a given condition.
    • bow To incline; turn in a particular direction; influence.
    • bow To bend or incline in worship or adoration, or in token of submission, homage, respect, civility, condescension, or attention.
    • bow To express by a bow or by bowing: as, to bow one's thanks or assent.
    • bow To accompany or usher in, out, etc., with a bow or bows.
    • n bow 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 bow A bend; a curve.
    • n bow 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. When the bow has been bent to its full extent by pulling the string back from it, the recoil of the string (against the inner side of which the notch of the arrow is placed) when released impels the arrow. The bow and arrow have been used in all ages and by many peoples as a weapon, and, though superseded in the advance of civilization by firearms, are still in use among savage tribes, and are the officially recognized weapon of the Manchu garrisons of China, where archery is still one of the subjects of examination for officers in the regular army. Bows were at one time divided into longbows and crossbows. During the middle ages the nations of Europe used longbows of 5 or 6 feet in length, the shorter ones being used by horsemen, and the longer by the foot-archers. The bows now commonly used in archery are of two kinds, the single-piece bow, or self-bow, and the back or union bow. The single-piece bow is made of one rod of hickory, lancewood, or yew, the last, if perfectly free from knots, being considered the most suitable wood. The union bow is made of two or sometimes three pieces glued together. See cuts under arbalister, bowman, and crossbow.
    • n bow The name of several implements shaped like a bent bow. In music, an implement originally curved, but now almost straight, by means of which the tone is produced from instruments of the violin kind. It is made of a slender staff of elastic wood, to the two slightly projecting ends of which a quantity of horse-hairs (about 80 or 100) are fastened. These, being rubbed with resin and drawn over the strings of the instrument, cause it to sound.
    • n bow 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 bow Any bent or curved thing. Specifically— A rainbow.
    • n bow The part of a yoke which embraces the animal's neck; hence, the yoke itself.
    • n bow 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 bow In firearms, the guard of the trigger. The bent guard of a sword-hilt.
    • n bow One of the bent slats which support the hood, canopy, or tilt of a covered wagon or carriage.
    • n bow The framing of the lenses of a pair of spectacles.
    • n bow In architecture: (I) An arch (of masonry), as in a gateway or bridge or in a flying buttress.
    • n bow 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 bow 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 bow 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 bow A stroke of the bow of a violin: as, the up-bow or the down-bow.
    • n bow A ring or loop of metal forming a handle. The loop at the end of the handle of a key.
    • bow To bend into the form of a bow; inflect; curve: as, to bow a ribbon; bowed shutters.
    • bow In music: To perform by means of a bow upon a stringed instrument: as, to bow a passage well.
    • bow To mark (a passage) so as to indicate the proper method of bowing.
    • bow In hat-making, to separate and distribute in the basket (the filaments of felting-fur) by means of a bow.
    • bow To be curved or bent.
    • bow To perform or play by means of the bow: as, a violinist who bows with great taste.
    • n bow Same as bough. Compare with bowpot for boughpot.
    • n bow 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 bow The foremost oar used in rowing a boat, or the person who pulls that oar; the bow-oar.
    • n bow A Scotch form of boll.
    • n bow A herd of cattle; the stock of cattle on a farm: as, a bow of kye (that is, cows).
    • n bow The provisions of a benefice granted by the pope.
    • n bow 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.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Stage bows were originally devised as a way for actors to thank the audience. The audience would or would not acknowledge each of the actors in turn, depending on how much they enjoyed the performance.
    • v.i Bow bow to bend the body in saluting a person, acknowledging a compliment, &c.: to submit
    • v.t Bow to bend or incline downwards, to crush down (with down, to, in or out, up or down)
    • n Bow a bending of the body in saluting a person
    • n Bow a piece of elastic wood or other material for shooting arrows, bent by means of a string stretched between its two ends: anything of a bent or curved shape, as the rainbow: the instrument by which the strings of a violin are sounded: a ring of metal forming a handle: a knot composed of one or of two loops and two ends (single bow, double bow), a looped knot of ribbons, a necktie or the like, so tied
    • n Bow bow the general name for the stem and forepart of a ship, or that which cuts the water—often used in pl., the ship being considered to have starboard and port bows, meeting at the stem
    • ***


  • Phaedrus
    “You will soon break the bow if you keep it always stretched.”
  • Edwin Markham
    “Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, the emptiness of ages in his face, and on his back the burden of the world.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “The savage bows down to idols of wood and stone: the civilized man to idols of flesh and blood.”
  • Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
    “Jealousy is not at all low, but it catches us humbled and bowed down, at first sight.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Bow, stubborn knees!”
  • William Butler Yeats
    “The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.”


Draw a long bow - If someone draws a long bow, they lie or exaggerate.
More than one string to their bow - A person who has more than one string to their bow has different talents or skills to fall back on.
Shot across the bow - A shot across the bow is a warning to tell someone to stop doing something or face very serious consequences.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. bowen, bogen, bugen, AS. būgan,generally v. i.); akin to D. buigen, OHG. biogan, G. biegen, beugen, Icel. boginn, bent, beygja, to bend, Sw. böja, Dan. böie, bugne, Coth. biugan,; also to L. fugere, to flee, Gr. , and Skr. bhuj, to bend. √88. Cf. Fugitive


In literature:

There she would sit, hour after hour, with bowed head and knit.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
Both Captains stood, bowing.
"Fearful Symmetry" by Ann Wilson
It was infinitely droll to see the two, mincing, bowing, and pirouetting in front of the mirror.
"A German Pompadour" by Marie Hay
A moment later the bow of the launch pushed its way through the wire grass and touched the bank.
"The Fire People" by Ray Cummings
He flung the manuscript into the place she had left, and bowed forward, hiding his face in his hands.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
Though the young Shawanoe clung to his bow, it was clear to his companions that he admired the new piece.
"Footprints in the Forest" by Edward Sylvester Ellis
These were furnished to the navy when cross-bows, long-bows, and slur-bows were used.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Arthur arrived at the cold, cheerless village of Bowes with a red nose, but with eager hopes.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
These bows are six feet long, the arrows four feet.
"Condemned as a Nihilist" by George Alfred Henty
He was short, slender and bow legged, very pale, and had light eyes without lashes.
"The Son of Monte Christo" by Jules Lermina

In poetry:

Today the Savior calls:
O listen now!
Within these sacred walls
To Jesus bow.
"Today the Savior Calls" by Samuel Francis Smith
You bowed
to the warm shoulders
of desire
nudging you
like a brother
in the dark
"One Summer" by Ernesto Trejo
The rose and lily bowed
To cast, of odour sweet
A cloud
Before her wandering feet.
"Art" by Alfred Noyes
Thou hadst thy triumphs then
Purpling the street,
Leaders and sceptred men
Bow'd at thy feet.
"Roman Girl's Song" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
I saw he had a bow,
And wings too, which did shiver;
And looking down below,
I spied he had a quiver.
"The Cheat Of Cupid; Or, The Ungentle Guest" by Robert Herrick
She was as trim a ferry-craft
As ever I did see,
And on each end a p’inted bow
And pilothouse had she.
"The Tearful Tale Of Captain Dan" by Ellis Parker Butler

In news:

Immigrants from Central America bow their heads in prayer at a shelter outside Mexico City.
Chimera Investment Larger Than S&P 500 Component Pitney Bowes.
With the loss, the Chokers (0-2) bowed out of the tournament.
County residents should take a bow for what is a triumph of civic responsibility in the dog days of summer.
Horn buttons and hair bows.
Bowing to customer pressure, Starbucks Corp.
Marine Corps Officer Candidates School graduates bow their heads during the invocation during their commissioning ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps August 10, 2012 in Triangle, Virginia.
Kids' toon producer Brown Bag bows Icehouse: New shingle will concentrate on adult animation.
Edwards, the son of an East End longshoreman, was born in 1950 within the sound of the bells of St Mary le Bow Church, which made him a true Cockney.
Warner Bros and New Line's "The Conjuring " -- will bow during the heart of summer, a result of scary-good test screening results.
Nadal's conqueror Rosol bows out to Kohlschreiber.
Re "Lungren bows out gracefully after close loss" (Editorials, Nov 19): Thank you for your editorial regarding Rep Dan Lungren's concession to Ami Bera.
Nerinx Hall's Peyton Bowe scored the game's only goal Thursday afternoon as the Markers handed Cor Jesu its first loss of the season.
As they were rowed out into the dark, churning waters of Erhai Lake, 10 cormorants with black plumage and white crests sat calmly in the bow of the boat.
Without saying a word, he would untie his tie and reconfigure it in the shape of a big, droopy bow tie.

In science:

Since a segment cannot have a negative length, we represent this case by plotting the bow tie of Fig. 1.c and we have then that r < 0.
Constructing Fresnel reflection coefficients by ruler and compass
Since a < b for every θ0 , r⊥ is always negative and the trapezoid is a bow tie, according to our previous discussion.
Constructing Fresnel reflection coefficients by ruler and compass
This can be seen in the fact that the trapezoid becomes a bow tie.
Constructing Fresnel reflection coefficients by ruler and compass
Finally, at grazing incidence this bow tie is made from two identical isosceles triangles and then rk = −1, as for the ⊥ polarization.
Constructing Fresnel reflection coefficients by ruler and compass
Re-attaching movie vertices to the social network graph yields a recommender graph (c) which forms a half bow-tie structure.
A Connection-Centric Survey of Recommender Systems Research