How Do You Spell BOW?

Pronunciation: [bˈə͡ʊ] (IPA)

The spelling of the word "bow" can be confusing due to its various meanings and corresponding pronunciations. The IPA transcription for the noun meaning a weapon for shooting arrows is /baʊ/. The verb meaning to bend forward at the waist is pronounced /baʊ/ or /boʊ/. The noun meaning a knot tied with a ribbon or string is pronounced /boʊ/. Finally, the noun referring to the front part of a ship is pronounced /baʊ/ or /boʊ/. Understanding the different pronunciations for each meaning is key to correctly spelling and pronouncing "bow".

BOW Meaning and Definition

  1. Bow (noun):

    1. A flexible and curved piece of material, typically made of wood, used to shoot arrows from a bow and arrow set in the sport of archery.

    2. A decorative knot or ornamental fabric tied into a loop, commonly used to adorn clothing, gifts, or as a hair accessory.

    3. A gesture of respect or reverence made by bending forward from the waist or head.

    4. The front part of a ship or boat, also known as the forward end.

    5. A curved or arched stroke made with a musical instrument, such as a violin or cello, by drawing the bow across the strings.

    6. The act of bending or curving, often referring to the shape of something.

    7. A tool for playing certain stringed instruments, consisting of a wooden stick with horsehair stretched between the ends, used by moving it across the strings.

    8. A knotting tool used to make loops in ribbon, cord, or other materials.

    9. The gesture of inclining the body forward to acknowledge an applause or ovation.

    10. The act of conceding or surrendering in a contest or competition.

    Bow (verb):

    1. To bend or curve the body or head in an act of acknowledgement, respect, or worship.

    2. To bend or curve something into a shape resembling an arch or a curve.

    3. To play a musical instrument with a bow, such as a violin or cello.

    4. To cause something to bend or curve, often due to external forces or pressure.

    5. To surrender or give up in a contest or competition.

    6. To incline or yield to someone's wishes or demands.

    7. To aim or direct something, like an arrow or weapon, by aligning it with a

  2. • To bend; to bend the body in token of respect; to crush; to depress; to stoop.
    • An act of respect by bending the body, or by inclining the head.
    • An instrument for shooting arrows with; a name given to various instruments; the curved doubling of a ribbon or string in a slip-knot.
    • Anything curved or arched, as a bow-window.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Top Common Misspellings for BOW *

  • bo 28.5714285%
  • bowe 14.2857142%
  • ow 14.2857142%
  • kbow 14.2857142%
  • dow 7.1428571%

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for BOW

Etymology of BOW

The word "bow" has multiple origins and meanings, depending on its context. Here are a few relevant etymologies:

1. Bow (as in a weapon): The word "bow", referring to the weapon used to shoot arrows, derives from the Old English word "boga". This Old English term is related to the German word "Bogen" and the Dutch word "boog", all of which ultimately trace back to the Proto-Germanic word "*bugon". This Proto-Germanic root had the general sense of "to bend" or "to curve", which aligns with the shape of a bow.

2. Bow (as in a decorative knot): The noun "bow", referring to a knot tied with loops and ends, comes from the Old English word "boga" as well.

Idioms with the word BOW

  • bow down The idiom "bow down" typically refers to an act of showing deep respect or submission to someone or something of higher authority or power. It can also signify the act of revering or worshiping someone or something.
  • bow out The idiom "bow out" means to gracefully withdraw or step down from a situation, event, or responsibility. It often implies giving up or declining participation in a way that maintains dignity and avoids conflict or confrontation.
  • bow-wow The idiom "bow-wow" refers to the sound that a dog makes, typically used to represent something simple, basic, or childish. It is often used in a mocking or dismissive manner to imply that something is unimpressive or lacking sophistication.
  • make your bow The idiom "make your bow" means to take a final appearance or appearance before leaving or retiring from a situation or profession. It originated from the custom of performers taking a bow to acknowledge applause at the end of a performance. Therefore, "making your bow" often refers to having your final public appearance or acknowledging the end of your involvement in something.
  • shot across the bow The idiom "shot across the bow" refers to a warning or signal that is intended to show force or a potential threat. It originates from naval warfare, where firing a shot across another ship's bow was a way to warn them to change course or face consequences. In a figurative sense, it implies a display of strength or a threat to deter someone from a particular course of action.
  • bow before sm or sth The idiom "bow before someone or something" means to show deep respect, reverence, or submission to a person or thing. It often implies an acknowledgement of their authority, superiority, or importance. This can be both a literal act of bowing or a figurative expression of deference.
  • bow the knee The idiom "bow the knee" means to humbly submit, yield, or show deference to someone or something, typically in a position of power or authority. It implies a sign of respect or surrender.
  • have another string/more strings to your bow The idiom "have another string/more strings to your bow" means to possess additional skills, abilities, or options in addition to what one already has. It implies being versatile and having alternative resources or methods to rely on when needed.
  • a shot across the bow The idiom "a shot across the bow" means a warning or a threat intended to deter someone before taking more severe actions. It refers to a warning shot fired by a ship towards another ship to demonstrate its firepower and intentions. In a figurative sense, it signifies a clear signal or action intended to intimidate or caution someone before engaging in more serious actions or consequences.
  • bow out (of sth) To "bow out (of sth)" means to gracefully withdraw or exit from a situation, event, or responsibility. It implies voluntarily stepping down or declining participation in something, often to avoid further involvement or prevent causing any inconvenience or conflict. It can also indicate a decision to retire or leave a position gracefully.
  • bow to (someone or something) The idiom "bow to (someone or something)" typically means to show respect, admiration, or submission to someone or something of higher authority, power, or influence. It can be both literal, as in bowing physically, or figurative, as in yielding or accepting someone's or something's superiority or control.
  • bow out (or in) The idiom "bow out (or in)" means to withdraw or step aside from a situation or event, often gracefully or without causing any trouble or conflict. It can refer to politely declining an invitation or gracefully conceding in a competition or dispute.
  • bow before someone or something The idiom "bow before someone or something" means to show great respect, reverence, or submission towards someone or something, typically by physically bowing or by giving them utmost deference and acknowledgement of their authority, power, or importance.
  • bow before The idiom "bow before" means to show great respect, obedience, or submission to someone or something. It implies a humble acknowledgment of another person's authority or superiority.
  • bow out of the running The idiom "bow out of the running" means to withdraw or remove oneself from a competition, election, or pursuit. It implies giving up or accepting defeat, often based on the realization that one does not have a chance to succeed or achieve a desired outcome.
  • have another/more than one string to your bow The idiom "have another/more than one string to your bow" means to have alternative options, skills, or abilities besides the primary one, providing additional resources or opportunities in various situations. It implies being versatile and having multiple talents or areas of expertise that can be utilized when needed.
  • have many strings to (one's) bow The idiom "have many strings to (one's) bow" means to possess various skills, abilities, or options that can be used to achieve success or solve problems in different situations. It implies being versatile, resourceful, and adaptable.
  • bow and scrape The idiom "bow and scrape" refers to behaving subserviently or excessively obsequious in order to gain favor or show excessive respect towards someone in a way that might be seen as insincere or exaggerated.
  • bow to (one's) demands The idiom "bow to (one's) demands" means to give in to someone's requests, commands, or requirements, usually under pressure or coercion. It implies a submission or compliance to satisfy the demands of another person or entity.
  • another string to your bow The idiom "another string to your bow" refers to acquiring or developing an additional skill, ability, or talent. It implies having multiple options or resources at one's disposal, providing advantages or opportunities in various situations.
  • another string to (one's) bow The idiom "another string to (one's) bow" means an additional skill, ability, or option that someone has. It refers to acquiring more means or alternatives to achieve something or deal with different situations. It originates from archery, where having multiple strings on a bow provides the archer with additional shots or choices.
  • bow to sth The idiom "bow to something" means to yield to or acknowledge something or someone with respect, often due to their superiority, authority, or influence. It implies showing deference or submission to an idea, person, or situation.
  • string to (one's) bow "String to (one's) bow" is an idiomatic expression that refers to an additional skill or resource that a person possesses. It originated from the metaphorical idea of a bow being used to shoot arrows, where each string represents a different ability or advantage. Having multiple strings to one's bow suggests having a wide range of talents, qualifications, or options available. It signifies an individual's versatility and ability to adapt or excel in various situations.
  • bow to demands The idiom "bow to demands" means to submit, yield, or give in to someone's requests or requirements, often under pressure or against one's will. It implies surrendering or accepting someone else's authority or control.
  • bow to someone's demands The idiom "bow to someone's demands" means to submit or yield to someone's requests or orders, often under pressure or against one's own will or better judgment. It implies conceding to another person's desires or requirements, usually due to a perceived lack of power, dominance, or influence.
  • two strings to one's bow The idiom "two strings to one's bow" means having multiple skills or options to rely on, usually to increase one's chances of success or achieve a specific goal. It implies that a person is versatile and capable of tackling different tasks or situations. It originates from the metaphor of a bow, referring to an instrument used for shooting arrows, where having two strings instead of one would give a person an advantage in terms of accuracy and flexibility.
  • fire a (warning) shot across sb's bow The idiom "fire a (warning) shot across sb's bow" is a figurative expression that means to issue a clear warning or show a sign of imminent action or confrontation to someone. It originates from naval warfare, where a shot fired across the bow of an enemy ship would serve as a signal to halt or face potential attack. In a broader context, it implies taking an initial action to let someone know that their behavior or actions could have serious consequences if not rectified.
  • have a second string to your bow The idiom "have a second string to your bow" means to have an alternative plan, skill, or option available in case the first one doesn't work out or is unsuccessful. It implies being prepared with an additional resource or ability that can be utilized as a backup or alternative.
  • fire a shot across the bow To "fire a shot across the bow" means to issue a warning or take preliminary action to deter or intimidate someone. It originates from naval warfare practices, where firing a shot across the bow of an approaching ship indicated a warning shot before engaging in combat. In a broader sense, the idiom is used to describe a show of strength or force to prevent a potential conflict or make a point.
  • another string to bow The idiom "another string to bow" refers to having an additional skill, talent, or resource that can be utilized in different situations or for alternative purposes. It suggests the idea of having multiple options or abilities to rely on.
  • bow down to (someone) The idiom "bow down to (someone)" means to show excessive respect, admiration, or obedience to someone, often placing that person in a position of authority or superiority. It implies a submission or deference to another person's will or ideas.
  • born within the sound of Bow bells The idiom "born within the sound of Bow bells" refers to someone who is considered a true Londoner, specifically someone who is born within the sound of the bells of the St. Mary-le-Bow church in the City of London. This phrase is often used to emphasize the deep-rooted connection or authenticity of someone's London heritage or identity.
  • bow out (of something) The idiom "bow out (of something)" means to gracefully or politely withdraw or resign from a situation, event, or commitment. It suggests stepping back or removing oneself from an involvement or obligation without causing offense or disruption.
  • bow down in the house of Rimmon The idiom "bow down in the house of Rimmon" originates from a biblical story and refers to compromising one's beliefs or principles in order to conform to a particular group or situation. It symbolizes an act of submission or idolatry, where an individual surrenders their values or convictions for the sake of fitting in or avoiding conflict.
  • bow down before (someone) The idiom "to bow down before (someone)" means to show extreme respect, admiration, or submission towards someone. It implies a highly reverential and subservient attitude, often associated with deference and obedience to a superior authority or an individual of higher rank or status.
  • have two strings to (one's) bow The idiom "have two strings to (one's) bow" means to have two different options or alternatives available for achieving a particular goal or purpose. It suggests that a person has a backup plan or additional skill set that can be utilized if the first option fails.
  • bow before (someone) The idiom "bow before (someone)" means to show deep respect, reverence, or submission to someone. It can indicate complete deference or adoration towards a person, acknowledging their authority, superiority, or exceptional qualities. It often implies placing oneself in a subservient position or being willing to follow their guidance or command.
  • have more than one string to (one's) bow The idiom "have more than one string to (one's) bow" means to have multiple skills or abilities that can be utilized for different purposes or opportunities. It implies being versatile, adaptable, and having various options or alternatives to achieve success or attain goals.
  • bow to sm's demands The idiom "bow to someone's demands" means to yield or submit to the requests or requirements of someone else, often out of a sense of obligation, respect, or an acknowledgment of their power or authority. It implies conceding to their demands or wishes without resistance or protest.
  • take a bow The idiom "take a bow" means to receive praise or recognition for something accomplished. It originated from the tradition of performers bowing onstage to acknowledge applause from the audience after a successful performance. It is figuratively used to acknowledge and accept accolades or appreciation for one's achievements or work.
  • bow down (to sb/sth) The idiom "bow down (to sb/sth)" means to show respect or submission to someone or something, often used figuratively. It signifies acknowledging someone's authority, power, or influence. It can also imply yielding or giving in to a particular person or thing.
  • bow to the porcelain altar

Similar spelling words for BOW

Plural form of BOW is BOWS

Conjugate verb Bow


I would have bowed
you would have bowed
he/she/it would have bowed
we would have bowed
they would have bowed
I would have bow
you would have bow
he/she/it would have bow
we would have bow
they would have bow


I would have been bowing
you would have been bowing
he/she/it would have been bowing
we would have been bowing
they would have been bowing


I would bow
you would bow
he/she/it would bow
we would bow
they would bow


I would be bowing
you would be bowing
he/she/it would be bowing
we would be bowing
they would be bowing


I will bow
you will bow
he/she/it will bow
we will bow
they will bow


I will be bowing
you will be bowing
he/she/it will be bowing
we will be bowing
they will be bowing


I will have bowed
you will have bowed
he/she/it will have bowed
we will have bowed
they will have bowed


I will have been bowing
you will have been bowing
he/she/it will have been bowing
we will have been bowing
they will have been bowing


we Let's bow
you bow
we let´s bow


to bow


I was bowing
you were bowing
he/she/it was bowing
we were bowing
they were bowing




I had bowed
you had bowed
he/she/it had bowed
we had bowed
they had bowed


I had been bowing
you had been bowing
he/she/it had been bowing
we had been bowing
they had been bowing


I bow
you bow
he/she/it bows
we bow
they bow


I am bowing
you are bowing
he/she/it is bowing
we are bowing
they are bowing




I have bowed
you have bowed
he/she/it has bowed
we have bowed
they have bowed


I have been bowing
you have been bowing
he/she/it has been bowing
we have been bowing
they have been bowing


he/she/it bow


I bowed
you bowed
he/she/it bowed
we bowed
they bowed


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