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2017 Word of the Year

bowstring

[boh-string] /ˈboʊˌstrɪŋ/
noun
1.
the string of an archer's bow.
2.
a string, typically of horsehair, for the bow of an instrument of the violin and viol families.
3.
(especially in the Ottoman Empire) a similar string for killing people by strangulation.
verb (used with object), bowstringed or bowstrung, bowstringing.
4.
to strangle with a bowstring or any string or band.
Origin of bowstring
1350-1400
First recorded in 1350-1400, bowstring is from the Middle English word bowe streng. See bow2, string
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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  • Let me remove this jewelled chain from my neck, now superseded by the bowstring.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

bowstring

/ˈbəʊˌstrɪŋ/
noun
1.
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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