bow

If you want to practice your archery, you'll need some arrows and a bow — a curved piece of wood (or other material), with a cord stretched between the ends that is used to launch the arrows.

The bow of a stringed instrument (like a violin or cello) was originally shaped like an archer's bow used in archery and thus shares the same name. When you move the bow across the strings, you're bowing. Sometimes violinists bow and sometimes they pluck the strings.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: bow

1
nv
something curved in shape
play on a string instrument with a bow
2
n
a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces
3
nv
bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting
4
n
front part of a vessel or aircraft
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: bow
1

n something curved in shape

Synonyms:
arc
Types:
rainbow
an arc of colored light in the sky caused by refraction of the sun's rays by rain
Type of:
curve, curved shape
the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes

n a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow

Types:
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crossbow
a bow fixed transversely on a wooden stock grooved to direct the arrow (quarrel)
Cupid's bow
a curved bow with reversed curve ends
handbow
a bow drawn by hand as distinguished from a crossbow
longbow
a powerful wooden bow drawn by hand; usually 5-6 feet long; used in medieval England
Type of:
arm, weapon, weapon system
any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting

n a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments

Types:
fiddlestick, violin bow
a bow used in playing the violin
Type of:
stick
an implement consisting of a length of wood

n a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments

Types:
down-bow
a downward stroke from the heel to the tip of the bow
up-bow
an upward stroke from the tip to the heel of the bow
Type of:
stroke
a single complete movement

v play on a string instrument with a bow

Type of:
play
play on an instrument
2

n a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces

Synonyms:
bowknot
Type of:
knot
any of various fastenings formed by looping and tying a rope (or cord) upon itself or to another rope or to another object

n a decorative interlacing of ribbons

Type of:
decoration, ornament, ornamentation
something used to beautify
3

n bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting

Synonyms:
bowing, obeisance
Types:
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genuflection, genuflexion
the act of bending the knees in worship or reverence
kotow, kowtow
a former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission
scrape, scraping
a deep bow with the foot drawn backwards (indicating excessive humility)
salaam
a deep bow; a Muslim form of salutation
Type of:
reverence
an act showing respect (especially a bow or curtsy)
gesture, motion
the use of movements (especially of the hands) to communicate familiar or prearranged signals

n an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience

Synonyms:
curtain call
Type of:
thanks
an acknowledgment of appreciation

v bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting

“He bowed before the King”
Types:
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take a bow
acknowledge applause by inclining the head, as of an artist after a performance
curtsey, curtsy
bend the knees in a gesture of respectful greeting
genuflect, kowtow, scrape
bend the knees and bow in a servile manner
genuflect
bend the knees and bow in church or before a religious superior or image
Type of:
change posture
undergo a change in bodily posture

v bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head

“He bowed before the King”
“She bowed her head in shame”
Synonyms:
bow down
Types:
conge, congee
perform a ceremonious bow
Type of:
gesticulate, gesture, motion
show, express or direct through movement

v bend one's back forward from the waist on down

“She bowed before the Queen”
Synonyms:
bend, crouch, stoop
Types:
squinch
crouch down
cower, huddle
crouch or curl up
Type of:
bend, flex
form a curve

v yield to another's wish or opinion

“The government bowed to the military pressure”
Synonyms:
accede, defer, give in, submit
Type of:
buckle under, give in, knuckle under, succumb, yield
consent reluctantly
4

n front part of a vessel or aircraft

“he pointed the bow of the boat toward the finish line”
Synonyms:
fore, prow, stem
Type of:
front
the side that is seen or that goes first

WORD FORMS

nvn
something curved in shape
play on a string instrument with a curved piece of wood
a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces
1 bow
nvn
bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence
bend the head or upper part of body in a gesture of respect
front part of a vessel or aircraft
2 bow
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