- to bend the knee or body or incline the head, as in reverence, submission, salutation, recognition, or acknowledgment.
- to yield; submit: to bow to the inevitable.
- to bend or curve downward; stoop: the pines bowed low.
- to bend or incline (the knee, body, or head) in worship, submission, respect, civility, agreement, etc.: He bowed his head to the crowd.
- to cause to submit; subdue; crush.
- to cause to stoop or incline: Age had bowed his head.
- to express by a bow: to bow one's thanks.
- to usher (someone) with a bow (usually followed by in, out, etc.): They were bowed in by the footman.
- to cause to bend; make curved or crooked.
- an inclination of the head or body in salutation, assent, thanks, reverence, respect, submission, etc.
- bow out, to resign a position or withdraw from a job, competition, obligation, etc.: He bowed out after two terms as governor.
- bow and scrape, to be excessively polite or deferential.
- make one's bow, to appear publicly for the first time, as a performer, politician, etc.: The young pianist made her bow last night to an appreciative audience.
- take a bow, to step forward or stand up in order to receive recognition, applause, etc.: The conductor had the soloists take a bow.
Origin of bow1
Synonyms for bowSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- a flexible strip of wood or other material, bent by a string stretched between its ends, for shooting arrows: He drew the bow and sent the arrow to its target.
- an instrument resembling this, used for various purposes, as rotating a drill or spindle, or loosening entangled or matted fibers.
- a bend or curve.
- Also called bowknot. a looped knot composed of two or more loops and two ends, as for tying together the ends of a ribbon or string.
- any separate piece of looped, knotted, or shaped gathering of ribbon, cloth, paper, etc., used as a decoration, as on a package, dress, or the like.
- a long rod, originally curved but now nearly straight, with horsehairs stretched from one end to the other, used for playing on a musical instrument of the violin and viol families.
- a single movement of such a device over the strings of a violin, viol, or the like.
- bow tie.
- something curved or arc-shaped.
- a saddlebow.
- an archer; bowman: He is the best bow in the county.
- temple2(def 3).
- a U-shaped piece for placing under an animal's neck to hold a yoke.
- Building Trades. a flexible rod used for laying out large curves.
- the part of a key grasped by the fingers.
- the loop on the stem of a watch by which the watch is attached to a chain or the like.
- a rainbow.
- curved outward at the center; bent: bow legs.
- to bend into the form of a bow; curve.
- Music. to perform by means of a bow upon a stringed instrument.
- Textiles Obsolete. to loosen by passing a vibrating bow among entangled fibers.
Origin of bow2
Examples from the Web for bowed
Contemporary Examples of bowed
Chen bowed her head during the playing of “America the Beautiful.”Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss
January 5, 2015
Chalabi bowed out of the contest in the second round, giving al-Abadi an easy victory.Exclusive: Inside Obama's Push for Regime Change in Iraq
August 11, 2014
The revelations cames as the Irish government today bowed to pressure and announced a full enquiry into the homes.Irish Care Home Scandal Grows As Children Revealed To Be Used As Vaccine Guinea Pigs
June 10, 2014
Louie is bowed by all this pressure and, in a moment of weakness, does end up seducing Amia.Louie’s Elevator Romance: Can Love Exist Without Sex?
May 30, 2014
She bowed her head, seemingly not out of shame but simply because she was growing weary.Tiona Rodriguez Charged After Dead Fetus Found in Bag at Victoria’s Secret
October 20, 2013
Historical Examples of bowed
Aspasia sank on the couch, and bowed her head upon her hands.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
She bowed curtly to Grace and Emma as her car whizzed by them.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
But he knew that my strength was greater than his and he bowed assent.The Bacillus of Beauty
Now Trudi and Sami came into the room, and bowed to him as they passed through.Rico and Wiseli
The other remained as he was with bowed head, for what appeared to be a long time.In the Midst of Alarms
- lowered; bent forward; curvedbowed head; bowed back
- bowed down (foll by by or with) weighed down; troubledbowed down by grief
- to lower (one's head) or bend (one's knee or body) as a sign of respect, greeting, assent, or shame
- to bend or cause to bend; incline downwards
- (intr ; usually foll by to or before) to comply or acceptbow to the inevitable
- (tr ; foll by in, out, to etc) to usher (someone) into or out of a place with bows and deferencethe manager bowed us to our car
- (tr; usually foll by down) to bring (a person, nation, etc) to a state of submission
- bow and scrape to behave in an excessively deferential or obsequious way
- a lowering or inclination of the head or body as a mark of respect, greeting, or assent
- take a bow to acknowledge or receive applause or praise
Word Origin for bow
- a weapon for shooting arrows, consisting of an arch of flexible wood, plastic, metal, etc bent by a string (bowstring) fastened at each endSee also crossbow
- a long slightly curved stick across which are stretched strands of horsehair, used for playing the strings of a violin, viola, cello, or related instrument
- a stroke with such a stick
- a decorative interlacing of ribbon or other fabrics, usually having two loops and two loose ends
- the knot forming such an interlacing; bowknot
- something that is curved, bent, or arched
- (in combination)rainbow; oxbow; saddlebow
- a person who uses a bow and arrow; archer
- a frame of a pair of spectacles
- a sidepiece of the frame of a pair of spectacles that curls round behind the ear
- a metal ring forming the handle of a pair of scissors or of a large old-fashioned key
- architect part of a building curved in the form of a bowSee also bow window
- to form or cause to form a curve or curves
- to make strokes of a bow across (violin strings)
Word Origin for bow
- mainly nautical
- (often plural)the forward end or part of a vessel
- (as modifier)the bow mooring line
- rowing short for bowman 2
- on the port bow nautical within 45 degrees to the port of straight ahead
- on the starboard bow nautical within 45 degrees to the starboard of straight ahead
- a shot across someone's bows informal a warning
Word Origin for bow
- Clara, known as the It Girl . 1905–65, US film actress, noted for her vivacity and sex appeal
Old English bugan "to bend, to bow down, to bend the body in condescension," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, past participle bogen), from Proto-Germanic *bugon (cf. Dutch buigen, Middle Low German bugen, Old High German biogan, German biegen, Gothic biugan "to bend," Old Norse boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE root *bheug- (3) "to bend," with derivatives referring to bent, pliable, or curved objects (cf. Sanskrit bhujati "bends, thrusts aside;" Old High German boug, Old English beag "a ring"). The noun in this sense is first recorded 1650s. Related: Bowed; bowing. Bow out "withdraw" is from 1942.
weapon for shooting arrows, Old English boga "archery bow, arch, rainbow," from Proto-Germanic *bugon (cf. Old Norse bogi, Old Frisian boga, Dutch boog, German Bogen "bow;" see bow (v.)). The sense of "a looped knot" is from 1540s. The musician's bow (1570s) formerly was curved like the archer's. Bowlegged is attested from 1550s.
"front of a ship," mid-14c., from Old Norse bogr or Middle Dutch boech "bow of a ship," literally "shoulder (of an animal)," the connecting notion being "the shoulders of the ship." See bough.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bow
- bow and scrape
- bowl of cherries, life is just a
- bowl over
- bow out
- take a bow
- two strings to one's bow