Bow - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |baʊ|  American pronunciation of the word bow
Brit.  |baʊ|  British pronunciation of the word bow


- a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces (syn: bowknot)
- a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments
- front part of a vessel or aircraft (syn: fore, prow, stem)
he pointed the bow of the boat toward the finish line
- a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow
- something curved in shape (syn: arc)
- bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting (syn: bowing, obeisance)
- an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience
- a decorative interlacing of ribbons
- a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments


- bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head
He bowed before the King
She bowed her head in shame
- yield to another's wish or opinion (syn: accede, defer, give in, submit)
The government bowed to the military pressure
- bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting
He bowed before the King
- bend one's back forward from the waist on down (syn: bend, crouch, stoop)
She bowed before the Queen
- play on a stringed instrument with a bow

Extra examples

Take a tree and bow it.

The ages bowed him.

The pines bowed low in the wind.

All the men in the court bowed before the king as he entered.

I bow to your better judgment, and will take your advice.

She received him with bows and smiles.

She bowed and left the stage.

Corbett entered the room, bowing respectfully.

The servant bowed low and handed his master the sealed note.

He bowed before the king.

Teague sat at his desk, bowed over a book.

The trees bowed in the wind.

His back was bowed under the weight of the heavy bag.

The music ended and the girl took a bow.

He gave a final bow just as the curtains came down.

Phrasal verbs

bow out  — remove oneself from an obligation

Word forms

I/you/we/they: bow
he/she/it: bows
present participle: bowing
past tense: bowed
past participle: bowed
singular: bow
plural: bows
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