American English

Definition of bow noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1 the act of bending your head or the upper part of your body forward in order to say hello or goodbye to someone or to show respect She gave a slight bow of her head in greeting. The priest bowed to the altar and turned to the congregation.
  2. 2 (also bows [plural]) the front part of a boat or ship compare stern
  3. Idioms
    a shot across the/somebody's bows
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    something that you say or do as a warning to someone about what might happen if they do not change, etc.
    take a/your bow
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    (of a performer) to bow to the audience as they are applauding you She came back on stage to take another bow.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bow