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[boh-string] /ˈboʊˌstrɪŋ/
the string of an archer's bow.
a string, typically of horsehair, for the bow of an instrument of the violin and viol families.
(especially in the Ottoman Empire) a similar string for killing people by strangulation.
verb (used with object), bowstringed or bowstrung, bowstringing.
to strangle with a bowstring or any string or band.
Origin of bowstring
First recorded in 1350-1400, bowstring is from the Middle English word bowe streng. See bow2, string Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bowstring
Historical Examples
  • By the bowstring of my fathers, but that would be a great and worthy killing!

  • Get ye gone, or the bastinado and the bowstring shall be your portion.

  • He must not beat her or strangle her with a bowstring or drop her into the Bosporus.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • He broke his bowstring, and his hand was numbed at the wrist-joint.

  • As the sound was not repeated, he strode in among the trees, setting an arrow against the bowstring.

    Hawk Eye David Cory
  • The bowstring is let go—or, rather, the trigger is pulled—at the final Y!

  • He was at tension, like a bowstring that is stretched continually.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • The twang of a bowstring might have been heard by one of the koris, had he been listening.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • Slowly the boy fitted the arrow to the bow, and slowly he pulled the bowstring taut.

    The Scarlet Plague Jack London
  • Let me remove this jewelled chain from my neck, now superseded by the bowstring.

    The Pacha of Many Tales Frederick Marryat
British Dictionary definitions for bowstring


the string of an archer's bow, usually consisting of three strands of hemp
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
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