Definition of bow noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//baʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//baʊ//
    Parts of boats and ships
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  1. 1the act of bending your head or the upper part of your body forward in order to say hello or goodbye to somebody or to show respect She gave a slight bow of her head in greeting. The messenger made a formal bow and left the room.
  2. 2(also bows [plural]) the front part of a boat or ship compare stern See related entries: Parts of boats and ships
  3. Word OriginOld English būgan ‘bend, stoop’, of Germanic origin; related to German biegen, also to bow2. Bow of a boat/​ship is late Middle English: from Low German boog, Dutch boeg, ‘shoulder or ship's bow’; related to bough.Extra examples He gave a formal bow and left the room. He made a deep bow to the king. He gave her a deep bow. The song ended and Albert took a bow. The boss takes his final bow today. The team’s chairman takes his final bow at this match. The ship’s name was printed on her bow. There were huge waves breaking over the bows. There’s a small boat on the port bow. They fired a shot across our bow/​bows. We left two men in the bow to receive the cargo. A huge whale crossed our bows.Idioms
    a shot across the/somebody’s bows
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    something that you say or do as a warning to somebody about what might happen if they do not change, etc.
    (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 American Dictionary entry: bow