oxbow

[oks-boh]
noun
  1. a U-shaped piece of wood placed under and around the neck of an ox with its upper ends in the bar of the yoke.
  2. Physical Geography, Geology.
    1. a bow-shaped bend in a river, or the land embraced by it.
    2. Also called oxbow lake.a bow-shaped lake formed in a former channel of a river.

Origin of oxbow

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at ox, bow2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for oxbow

Historical Examples of oxbow

  • But far away in Oxbow Village other events were in preparation.

    The Guardian Angel

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • Clement Lindsay had come to Oxbow Village with a single purpose.

    The Guardian Angel

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • Oxbow lakes are common, but gorges and waterfalls are absent.

    Geology

    William J. Miller

  • The drive is a pleasant one, affording a fine view of the Oxbow Rapids and islands and the noble river above.

  • It was built on the east bank of the river, a little above the curve which gave the name to Oxbow Village.

    The Guardian Angel

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


British Dictionary definitions for oxbow

oxbow

noun
  1. a U-shaped piece of wood fitted under and around the neck of a harnessed ox and attached to the yoke
  2. Also called: oxbow lake, cutoff a small curved lake lying on the flood plain of a river and constituting the remnant of a former meander
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 oxbow
n.

also ox-bow, mid-14c., "wooden collar for an ox," from ox + bow (n.1). Meaning "semicircular bend in a river" is from 1797, American English (New England); meaning "curved lake left after an oxbow meander has been cut off by a change in the river course" is from 1898. The reference is to similarity of shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

oxbow in Science

oxbow

[ŏksbō′]
  1. A sharp, U-shaped bend in a river. The bend is so sharp that only a narrow neck of land is left between the two parts of the river.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.