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[doun-boh] /ˈdaʊnˌboʊ/
noun, Music.
(in bowing on a stringed instrument) a stroke bringing the tip of the bow toward the strings, indicated in scores by the symbol (opposed to up-bow).
Origin of down-bow
First recorded in 1890-95; down1 + bow2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for down-bow
Historical Examples
  • And the violinist should never think: 'I must play this up-bow or down-bow.'

    Violin Mastery Frederick H. Martens
  • The staccato may be played with the down-bow, the wrist and arm movements being simply the reverse of those in the up-bow.

    Chats to 'Cello Students Arthur Broadley
  • His mark for a down-bow is the same figure reversed in position;—Mr. for mordente, &c.

    The Violin

    George Dubourg
  • Artists of the German school are more apt to begin a phrase with a down-bow; the French start playing a good deal at the point.

    Violin Mastery Frederick H. Martens
British Dictionary definitions for down-bow


a downward stroke of the bow from its nut to its tip across a stringed instrument Compare up-bow
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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