1. To cause to deviate from straightness; to bend; to inflect; to make crooked or curved. We bow things the contrary way, to make them come to their natural straightness. (Milton) The whole nation bowed their necks to the worst kind of tyranny. (Prescott)
2. To exercise powerful or controlling influence over; to bend, figuratively; to turn; to incline. Adversities do more bow men's minds to religion. (Bacon) Not to bow and bias their opinions. (Fuller)
3. To bend or incline, as the head or body, in token of respect, gratitude, assent, homage, or condescension. They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. (2 kings II. 15)
4. To cause to bend down; to prostrate; to depress,; to crush; to subdue. Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave. (Shak)
5. To express by bowing; as, to bow one's thanks.
Origin: oe. Bowen, bogen, bugen, as. Bugan (generally v.i); akin to D. Buigen, OHG. Biogan, g. Biegen, beugen, Icel. Boginn bent, beygja to bend, Sw. Boja, dan. Boie, bugne, Coth. Biugan; also to L. Fugere to flee, gr, and Skr. Bhuj to bend. Cf. Fugitive.
1. Anything bent, or in the form of a curve, as the rainbow. I do set my bow in the cloud. (gen. Ix. 13)
2. A weapon made of a strip of wood, or other elastic material, with a cord connecting the two ends, by means of which an arrow is propelled.
3. An ornamental knot, with projecting lops, formed by doubling a ribbon or string.
4. The U-shaped piece which embraces the neck of an ox and fastens it to the yoke.
5. An appliance consisting of an elastic rod, with a number of horse hairs stretched from end to end of it, used in playing on a stringed instrument.
6. An acrograph.
7. (Science: mechanics) Any instrument consisting of an elastic rod, with ends connected by a string, employed for giving reciprocating motion to a drill, or for preparing and arranging the hair, fur, etc, used by hatters.
8. A rude sort of quadrant formerly used for taking the suns altitude at sea.
9. Two pieces of wood which form the arched forward part of a saddletree. Bow bearer see bay window. To draw a long bow, to lie; to exaggerate.
Origin: oe. Bowe, boge, as. Boga, fr. As. Bugan to bend; akin to D. Boog, g. Bogen, Icel. Bogi. See bow.