bowie knife

[boh-ee, boo-ee]


a heavy sheath knife having a long, single-edged blade.

Origin of bowie knife

1830–40, Americanism; named after James Bowie, for whom the knife was designed, either by James or his brother Rezin P. Bowie (1793–1841) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bowie knife

Historical Examples of bowie knife

  • He seizes him by the neck an' rips him to pieces wi' his bowie-knife.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • He drew his bowie-knife and brandished it as high as his arm could reach.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • His own bowie-knife was in his hand now, and he stabbed the foremost 286 through the throat.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • That blaze which was done to muddle you was cut with an axe; this which I made was done with a bowie-knife.

  • I am attached to you as the blade of my bowie-knife is to the hilt I am yours, body and soul.

    The Gold-Seekers

    Gustave Aimard

British Dictionary definitions for bowie knife

bowie knife


a stout hunting knife with a short hilt and a guard for the hand

Word Origin for bowie knife

C19: named after Jim Bowie, who popularized it
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

Word Origin and History for bowie knife

1827, named for its inventor, U.S. fighter and frontiersman Col. James "Jim" Bowie (1799-1836), and properly pronounced "boo-ee."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper