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[kraws-boh, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˌboʊ, ˈkrɒs-/
a medieval weapon consisting of a bow fixed transversely on a stock having a trigger mechanism to release the bowstring, and often incorporating or accompanied by a mechanism for bending the bow.
Origin of crossbow
late Middle English
First recorded in 1400-50, crossbow is from the late Middle English word crossbowe. See cross, bow2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crossbow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He reappeared in his original form, took up his crossbow and shot at the bird.

  • There was the tip of the dog's tail, and the top of the hunter's crossbow.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • The arrow is laid on the stock of a crossbow in the proper position for firing.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • He leaped upward, as high as possible, his crossbow in his hand.

    Space Prison Tom Godwin
  • And already they've got iron swords, the crossbow and even a few muskets.

    Adaptation Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Reif said, "It was a mistake, too, to allow them the secret of the crossbow."

    Adaptation Dallas McCord Reynolds
British Dictionary definitions for crossbow


a type of medieval bow fixed transversely on a wooden stock grooved to direct a square-headed arrow (quarrel)
Derived Forms
crossbowman, noun
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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Word Origin and History for crossbow

mid-15c., from cross (n.) + bow (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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