bow

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bow1 / / • n. 1. a knot tied with two loops and two loose ends, used esp. for tying shoelaces and decorative ribbons: a girl with long hair tied back in a bow. ∎  a decorative ribbon tied in such a knot. 2. a weapon for shooting arrows, typically made of a curved piece of wood whose ends are joined by a taut string. 3. a long, partially curved rod with horsehair stretched along its length, used for playing the violin and other stringed instruments. 4. a thing that is bent or curved in shape. ∎  a side piece or lens frame of a pair of glasses. • v. 1. [tr.] play (a stringed instrument or music) using a bow: the techniques by which the pieces were bowed. 2. bend into the shape of a bow: the sides of the image are squeezed in or bowed out. bow2 / bou/ • v. [intr.] bend the head or upper part of the body as a sign of respect, greeting, or shame: he turned and bowed to his father [tr.] she knelt and bowed her head. ∎  [tr.] express (thanks, agreement, or other sentiments) by bending one's head respectfully: he looked at Hector before bowing grave thanks. ∎  [intr.] bend the body in order to see or concentrate: [as adj.] my mother sat bowed over a library book. ∎  [tr.] cause (something) to bend with age or under a heavy weight: the vines were bowed down with flowers [intr.] the grass bowed down before the wind. ∎  submit to pressure or to someone's demands: the mayor bowed to public opinion. • n. an act of bending the head or upper body as a sign of respect or greeting: the man gave a little bow. PHRASES: bow and scrape behave in an obsequious way to someone in authority. take a bow (of an actor or entertainer) acknowledge applause after a performance by bowing: fig. the aides do the grind work while the boss takes the bows. PHRASAL VERBS: bow out withdraw or retire from an activity, role, or commitment: many artists are forced to bow out of the profession at a relatively early age. bow3 / bou/ (also bows) • n. the front end of a ship: water sprayed high over her bows.

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bow.
1. Part of a wall projecting from its face, a partial ellipse, semicircle, or segment on plan, usually with a window set in it or extending the full width, known as a bow- or compass-window. If the plan is canted (or part of a polygon), or rectangular, it is not called a bow, but rather a bay, so a projecting window would be a canted bay-window or a rectangular or square bay-window. See bay-window.

2. Arched form, therefore part of a flying buttress.

3. Attribute of the goddess Diana, and therefore associated with hunting.

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bow2 bow down in the house of Rimmon pay lip-service to a principle, sacrifice one's principles for the sake of conformity; originally with reference to 2 Kings 5:18, the verse in which Naaman, believing in the God of Israel who had healed him, explained to Elijah that he must still accompany his master the king of Syria to the temple of Rimmon.

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bow (bō), implement used in playing stringed instruments. Its name originated from the fact that in its early form it resembled an archer's bow, but by the 17th cent. the European bow had gradually become flat. The violin bow received its definitive form during the period from 1775 to 1781 at the hands of François Tourte (1747–1835). He made the bow of brazilwood (Pernambuco wood), gave it a slightly concave curvature, and invented the device by which the horsehairs are held in place and tightened. The cello and the double bass are played with a bow that is shorter, broader, and heavier than the violin bow.

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Bow (bō), river, 315 mi (507 km) long, rising in the Rocky Mts., S Alta., Canada, and flowing SE through Banff National Park. It emerges from the mountains in the Bow River Pass and continues past Calgary southeastward across the plains to its junction with the Belly River to form the South Saskatchewan River. Several dams have been built along the Bow, most notably the Bassano or Horseshoe Bend Dam (built 1912).

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bow. Flexible stick with horsehair (usually) stretched across it, used to produce sound vibrations from strings of vn., va., vc., db., and other str. instr. Until 17th cent. bow was convex. As vn. technique developed, new forms of concave bow were devised, with hairs kept in place and at an even spread by means of metal ferrule through which hair passed as it left the nut, or ‘frog’ at one end of the bow. Prin. developer of modern bow was François Tourte, c.1785.

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bow2 bend (esp. the body) OE.; cause to bend XIII; incline the head in salute XVII. OE. būgan = MLG. būgen, MDu. būghen (Du. buigen), corr. to OHG. biogan (G. biegen), Goth. biugan :- Gmc. *beuʒan (Cf. BOW1). The obvious connections outside Gmc. have -g- (to which Gmc. -k- should corr.), viz. L. fugere, Gr. pheūgein flee, Skr. bhuj bow, bend.
Hence bow sb. XVII.

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bow3 fore-end of a boat XV. — LG. boog, Du. boeg; see BOUGH and Cf. BOWLINE, BOWSPRIT, which are earlier.

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Bow

a herd of cattle; the cattle on a farm [the livestock], c. 1300; bowmen or archers collectively, 1511.

Example: bow of ky [Scots cattle], 1568.

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bow1 weapon for shooting arrows OE.; transf. to various bent objects XIV. OE. boga bow, rainbow, arch = OS. bogo, OHG. bogo (G. bogen), ON. bogi :- Gmc. *boʒan-, f. *buʒ-, short stem of *beuʒan (Cf. BOW2).