[lawng-boh, long-]


a large bow drawn by hand, as that used by English archers from the 12th to the 16th centuries.


    draw the longbow, to exaggerate in telling stories; overstate something: He's sure to draw the longbow on the size of his catch of fish.

Origin of longbow

First recorded in 1490–1500; long1 + bow2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for longbow

Historical Examples of longbow

  • Swiftly he slipped an arrow across his longbow and winged it after the flying beast.

    Robin Hood

    Paul Creswick

  • A dawning suspicion was in his mind that Stacy was drawing the longbow.

  • A shaft is an arrow for the longbow, a bolt is for the crossbow.

    Folk-lore of Shakespeare

    Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer

  • Bigelow was still more specific in his history of Mrs. Longbow.

  • Longbow said he was glad to get out—that the business of justice was wearin' him to death.

British Dictionary definitions for longbow



a large powerful hand-drawn bow, esp as used in medieval England
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 longbow

also long-bow, the characteristic medieval English weapon, c.1500, from long (adj.) + bow (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper