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  1. Claude Ger·nade [zher-nahd] /ʒərˈnɑd/, 1878–1958, U.S. diplomat and historian.


  1. a leafy shelter or recess; arbor.
  2. a rustic dwelling; cottage.
  3. a lady's boudoir in a medieval castle.
verb (used with object)
  1. to enclose in or as in a bower; embower.

Origin of bower1

before 900; Middle English bour, Old English būr chamber; cognate with Old Norse būr pantry, German Bauer birdcage; akin to neighbor
Related formsbow·er·like, adjective


noun Nautical.
  1. an anchor carried at a ship's bow.

Origin of bower2

First recorded in 1645–55; bow3 + -er1
Also called bower anchor.


  1. a person or thing that bows or bends.

Origin of bower3

First recorded in 1590–1600; bow1 + -er1


noun Music.
  1. a musician, as a violinist, who performs with a bow on a stringed instrument.

Origin of bower4

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at bow2, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bowers

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Or, rather, I was with the Past,—in the bowers of my springtide of life and hope!

  • That Bowers is the biggest blackguard on the roads between London and Windsor.

    The Gypsies

    Charles G. Leland

  • The greatly reprobated Bowers was not himself a gypsy, but he had a gypsy wife.

    The Gypsies

    Charles G. Leland

  • But 'tis a puling fool, more fitting for the bowers of ladies.'

  • Nor will we pluck the pretty flowers, That grow about the beds and bowers.

British Dictionary definitions for bowers


  1. a shady leafy shelter or recess, as in a wood or garden; arbour
  2. literary a lady's bedroom or apartments, esp in a medieval castle; boudoir
  3. literary a country cottage, esp one regarded as charming or picturesque
Derived Formsbowery, adjective

Word Origin

Old English būr dwelling; related to Old Norse būr pantry, Old High German būr dwelling


  1. nautical a vessel's bow anchor

Word Origin

C18: from bow ³ + -er 1


  1. a jack in euchre and similar card games

Word Origin

C19: from German Bauer peasant, jack (in cards)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bowers



Old English bur "room, hut, dwelling, chamber," from Proto-Germanic *buraz (cf. Old Norse bur "chamber," Swedish bur "cage," Old High German bur "dwelling, chamber," German Bauer "birdcage"), from *bu- "to dwell," from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, dwell" (see be). Modern spelling developed after mid-14c. Sense of "leafy arbor" (place closed in by trees) is first attested 1520s. Hence, too, Australia's bower-bird (1847).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper