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Bow appears in the following palindromes (phrases that read the same backward as forward):

  • Bats I see bow to two bees I stab.
  • Gnaw two batons: I gnaw to lose now; one solo twang is not a bow twang.
  • "Gnaw two batons!" I yell over a radio void, "a rare volley is not a bow twang!"
View more palindromes!

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun bow:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb bow:

Video footage: Vessel bow detail, breaking water
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Definition of the noun bow

What does bow mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: bows

  1. a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of bow: bowknot
    • more generic word: knot = any of various fastenings formed by looping and tying a rope (or cord) upon itself or to another rope or to another object
  2. a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: stick = an implement consisting of a length of wood
    • more specific terms: fiddlestick / violin bow = a bow used in playing the violin
  3. front part of a vessel or aircraft
    • example: he pointed the bow of the boat toward the finish line
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonyms of bow: fore / prow / stem
    • more generic word: front = the side that is seen or that goes first
    • part of: vessel / watercraft = a craft designed for water transportation
  4. a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic terms: arm / weapon / weapon system = any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting
    • more specific terms:
      • crossbow = a bow fixed transversely on a wooden stock grooved to direct the arrow
      • 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
    • part of: bow and arrow = a weapon consisting of arrows and the bow to shoot them
    • parts:
      • bowstring = the string of an archer's bow
      • limb = either of the two halves of a bow from handle to tip
  5. something curved in shape
    • lexical domain: Shapes - nouns denoting two and three dimensional shapes
    • synonym of bow: arc
    • more generic terms: curve / curved shape = the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
    • more specific word: rainbow = an arc of colored light in the sky caused by refraction of the sun's rays by rain
  6. bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of bow: bowing / obeisance
    • more generic words: reverence = an act showing respect; gesture / motion = the use of movements (especially of the hands) to communicate familiar or prearranged signals
    • more specific words:
      • genuflection / genuflexion = the act of bending the knees in worship or reverence
      • kowtow / kotow = a former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission
      • scraping / scrape = a deep bow with the foot drawn backwards
      • salaam = a deep bow
  7. an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience
  8. a decorative interlacing of ribbons
  9. a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic word: stroke = a single complete movement
    • more specific words:
      • 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

Alternative definition of the noun bow


  1. A weapon made of a curved piece of wood or other flexible material whose ends are connected by a string, used for shooting arrows.
  2. A curved bend in a rod or planar surface, or in a linear formation such as a river (see oxbow).
  3. A rod with horsehair (or an artificial substitute) stretched between the ends, used for playing various stringed musical instruments.
  4. A stringed instrument, similar to the item described above.
  5. A type of knot with two loops, used to tie together two cords such as shoelaces or apron strings, and frequently used as decoration, such as in gift-wrapping.
  6. A gesture, usually showing respect, made by bending forward at the waist.
  7. A debut
  8. [nautical] The front of a boat or ship.

Definition of the verb bow

What does bow mean as a doing word?

Bow is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: bowed | bowing | bows

  1. bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head
  2. yield to another's wish or opinion
  3. bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting
    • example: He bowed before the King
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic term: change posture = undergo a change in bodily posture
    • more specific terms:
      • 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
  4. bend one's back forward from the waist on down
    • example: She bowed before the Queen
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonyms of bow: bend / crouch / stoop
    • more generic words: bend / flex = form a curve
    • more specific words:
    • entailment: change posture = undergo a change in bodily posture
  5. play on a stringed instrument with a bow
    • domain: music
    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • more generic word: play = play on an instrument

Alternative definition of the verb bow


  1. To play music on (a stringed instrument) using a bow.
  2. [intransitive] To become bent or curved.
  3. [transitive] To make something bend or curve.
  4. [intransitive] To bend oneself as a gesture of respect or deference.
  5. [transitive, and, intransitive] To debut.
  6. [intransitive] To defer (to something).

Phrases with bow

Phrases starting with the word bow:

  1. bow leg
  2. bow out
  3. bow saw
  4. bow tie
  5. Bow Wow
  6. bow-tie
  7. bow-wow
  8. bow down
  9. bow legs
  10. bow wood
  11. Bow Shock

Phrases ending with the word bow:

  1. Up Bow
  2. up-bow
  3. Down Bow
  4. down-bow
  5. Brush Bow
  6. Dicky Bow
  7. mouth bow
  8. Pussy Bow
  9. Shaft Bow

View more phrases with the word bow in thesaurus!


  1. Bow is an area of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a built-up, mostly residential district located 4.6 miles east of Charing Cross, and is a part of the East End.
    • also known as Bow, London
    • part of London
  2. Bow is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,519 at the 2010 census.
  3. Bow is an unincorporated community in Skagit County, Washington. It is located near the towns of Bay View, Edison, Burlington, and Mount Vernon. Bow is included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  4. Bow is a village and civil parish in the Mid Devon district of Devon, England, about 8 miles west of Crediton. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 1,093. There is an adjoining hamlet of Nymet Tracey which shares a church with Bow and much common history.
  5. Bow is an unincorporated community in Cumberland County, Kentucky, United States. It lies along Route 90 southeast of the city of Burkesville, the county seat of Cumberland County. Its elevation is 607 feet.
  6. Bow a.k.a. Bartow Municipal Airport is a public use airport located four miles northeast of the central business district of Bartow, a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the Bartow Municipal Airport Development Authority.

There are other places with bow in their name, like Bow Creek, Bow Falls, Bow Island, Bow Valley, Broken Bow, Fiddle Bow, Bromley-by-Bow, Silver Bow County, Broken Bow Nebraska.


Bow is a fictional character in the animated television series She-Ra: Princess of Power. He is the only male human member of The Great Rebellion. In one episode he is referred to as the best archer in all of Etheria. He is famed for the accuracy of his shot.

There are other characters with bow in their name, like Clara Bow.


  1. The bow is a nautical term that refers to the forward part of the hull of a ship or boat, the point that is most forward when the vessel is underway. Both of the adjectives fore and forward mean towards the bow. The other end of the boat is called the stern.
  2. Bow: In music, a bow is moved across some part of a musical instrument, causing vibration which the instrument emits as sound. The vast majority of bows are used with string instruments, although some bows are used with musical saws and other bowed idiophones.
  3. Bow is a term which has multiple meanings within the sport of rowing. It is used to refer to a rower seated in a particular position and to one side of the boat.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for bow

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewA Dictionary of Hallucinations (2009)

by Jan Dirk Blom

The eponym Ulloa's bow refers to the Spanish naval officer, explorer, and astronomer Antonio de Ulloa y de...

However, today Ulloa's bow is a common phenomenon seen by airline travellers looking down upon clouds opposite the Sun.

Google previewEncyclopaedia perthensis, or, Universal dictionary of the arts, sciences, literature, etc. : intended to supersede the use of other books of reference (1816)

Bow, or Drill-bow, among artificers, an instrument so called from its figure ; used by goldsmiths, gunsmiths, locksmiths, watchmakers, &c. for making a drill go. Among turners it is the name of a pole fixed to the ceiling, to which they fasten the ...

Google previewLondon encyclopaedia; or, Universal dictionary of science, art, literature and practical mechanics (1829)

comprising a popular view of the present state of knowledge by Thomas Tegg

A warped bow, though strung with silken threads. And crooked arrowes, tipt with golden heads. Delight not archers, yet such uselesse toyes Be nt enough for buglers and for boyes. George Wither. Good folks take heed ; for here's a wanton ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for bow

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Photos about bow

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View more pictures about Bow Falls and bow maker.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Bow hunter in a ladder style tree stand with bow at full draw, demonstrating good safety by using a safety harnessSmall photo of golden bow isolated on a white backgroundSmall photo of Christmas present wrapped with red and green paper and red bow isolated on white backgroundSmall photo of Decorative Christmas or Valentine gift - square white cardboard box with lid tied with a beautiful big red bowSmall photo of Karate man in kimono making traditional bow on a black backgroundSmall photo of Red bow ribbon isolated on whiteSmall photo of Red ribbon bow isolated on white More...

Videos about bow

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View more videos about The Bow and bow down.

See also the pronunciation examples of bow!

Sign language

Bow in Baby Sign Language, ASL

Duration 00:53

Your baby can easily learn from you to sign Bow. Learn how to teach your baby to sign Bow {on the go} with ASL {without flashcards}. Post a video of your bab...

Quotes about bow

Testimony is like an arrow shot from a long-bow; its force depends on the strength of the hand that draws it. But argument is like an arrow from a cross-bow, which has equal force if drawn by a child or a man. (Charles Boyle)
more quotes about bow...

Scrabble value of B3O1W4

The value of this 3-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of BOW

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Other anagrams

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See also the blanagrams of bow!

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