- 1 [intransitive] to move your head or the top half of your body forward and downward as a sign of respect or to say hello, or goodbye bow (to/before somebody/something) He bowed low to the assembled crowd. bow down (to/before somebody/something) The people all bowed down before the altar.
- 2 [transitive] bow your head to move your head forward and downward She bowed her head in shame. They stood in silence with their heads bowed.
- 3[intransitive, transitive] to bend or make something bend (+ adv./prep) The pines bowed in the wind. bow something (+ adv./prep) Their backs were bowed under the weight of their packs. Idioms
NAmE//baʊ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bow
he / she / it bows
past simple bowed
-ing form bowing
to be too polite to an important person in order to gain their approval She was starting to get tired of all their bowing and scraping. Phrasal Verbsbow down to somebody/somethingbow out (of something)bow to something
bow and scrape(disapproving)jump to other results