n. & v.
1 a a slip-knot with a double loop. b a ribbon, shoelace, etc., tied with this. c a decoration (on clothing, or painted etc.) in the form of a bow.
2 a device for shooting arrows with a taut string joining the ends of a curved piece of wood etc.
3 a a rod with horsehair stretched along its length, used for playing the violin, cello, etc. b a single stroke of a bow over strings.
4 a a shallow curve or bend. b a rainbow.
5 = saddle-bow.
6 a metal ring forming the handle of scissors, a key, etc.
7 US the side-piece of a spectacle-frame.
8 Archery = BOWMAN(1).
— (also absol.) use a bow on (a violin etc.) (he bowed vigorously).
Phrases and idioms:
bow-compass (or -compasses) compasses with jointed legs. bow-legged having bandy legs. bow-legs bandy legs. bow-saw Carpentry a narrow saw stretched like a bowstring on a light frame. bow-tie a necktie in the form of a bow (sense 1). bow-window a curved bay window. two strings to one's bow a twofold resource.
Etymology: OE boga f. Gmc: cf. BOW(2)
v. & n.
1 intr. incline the head or trunk, esp. in greeting or assent or acknowledgement of applause.
2 intr. submit (bowed to the inevitable).
3 tr. cause to incline (bowed his head; bowed his will to hers).
4 tr. express (thanks, assent, etc.) by bowing (bowed agreement to the plan).
5 tr. (foll. by in, out) usher or escort obsequiously (bowed us out of the restaurant).
—n. an inclining of the head or body in greeting, assent, or in the acknowledgement of applause, etc.
Phrases and idioms:
bow and scrape be obsequious; fawn. bow down
1 bend or kneel in submission or reverence (bowed down before the king).
2 (usu. in passive) make stoop; crush (was bowed down by care). bowing acquaintance a person one acknowledges but does not know well enough to speak to.
bow out
1 make one's exit (esp. formally).
2 retreat, withdraw; retire gracefully. make one's bow make a formal exit or entrance. take a bow acknowledge applause.
Etymology: OE bugan, f. Gmc: cf. BOW(1)
n. Naut.
1 (often in pl.) the fore-end of a boat or a ship.
2 = BOWMAN(2).
Phrases and idioms:
bow wave a wave set up at the bows of a moving ship or in front of a body moving in air. on the bow within 45° of the point directly ahead. shot across the bows a warning.
Etymology: LG boog, Du. boeg, ship's bow, orig. shoulder: see BOUGH

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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