In the sense that it's the thing that you fire arrows from, bows are made of different types of materials like wood (ash, yew), bone, sinew, and other modern composite materials. The draw weight of a bow varies with the construction and type of bowstring. The main types of bows are composite bows, recurve bows, compound bows, short bows, and long bows. Composite refers to the construction and can be applied to any of the other types of bows, ex. a composite compound bow.

In rowing, the athlete farthest towards the front of the shell is called bow or bow man.

A sample lineup for a crew would read as follows:

Great Britain's Straight Four lineup, 2000 Sydney Games

A bow is a physical display of respect.

In Japan, there are different bows for different situations. This can vary depending on the relationship between those who are bowing: a first meeting between them, the occasion, etc. A typical bow lasts a second or two, but depending on the importance of the person bowed to, it can last longer. The more important the person is, the longer the bow should be.

To execute a bow, keep your feet together, and simply bend your upper body forward at the hip (at about a 45 degree angle), keeping your torso straight and your hands at your sides. Bend your elbows in relation to your body. Hold for a second or two, then stand straight.

A bow is the device string musicians (cellists, double bassists, violists, and even violinists) move along the strings of their instrument to produce a sound.

Bows consist of two main parts, the bow, and the hair. The bow part is made usually from wood or plastic, and is capable of being extended or shortened in order to tighten or loosen the bow hair. Bows should never be fully tightened, even when playing, as that will cause the bow to stretch into that tightened position, making the hair go limper and limper. Bows should always be stored in a loosened position to prevent the same problem from happening.

The bow's hair comes from the tails of (most often) female horses. Female horses, because females (excuse my lewdness) "pee out their backsides", which leads to the tail hair becoming pitted and irregular in shape. This makes it so that the hair can absorb the rosin that is rubbed onto it, and allows the hair to make a string vibrate. The pits and irregularities also make it very easy for people to get dirt, grit, and oils into the pits, which the rosin then covers up, and leads to an ugly sound. So don't touch your bow hair with anything but your rosin!

Bows are used by classical musicians all the time, but they are also used in other musical styles such as bluegrass and jazz (thanks in large part to the cross-style capabilities of the double bass). Rock and Roll legend Jimmy Page has also used bows in his music, with a guitar that has a special 'curved' bridge. Very cool.

The bow used for string instruments operates on the principle of "grip-slip". When the bow hair is drawn across a string, it grips it and pulls it to the side. As the bow is moved, the tension grows until the resistance of the string overcomes the grip of the bow hair, causing the string to snap back while the bow hair slips. The energy travels along the string to its stopping point, and then back on its other side until reaching the bow hair again, at which point it grips the string again and the cycle is repeated.

Bows are constructed of four parts: the stick, the frog, the hair and the screw. The stick carries the hair and provides the elastic function of the bow. The hair is attached at one end to the tip of the stick, and its other end is attached to the frog. The frog is a piece of hardwood (usually ebony), bone, ivory, or some other hard material which is used to space the bow hair from the bow stick. In antique bows, the hair was attached to the stick instead of to the frog, and the frog would be clipped-in between the hair and the stick. In modern bows, the frog rides on a groove in the underside of the stick. The screw changes the frog's position in the groove, and thus tightens or loosens the hair.

Bow hair is made of horse-tail hairs. The most sought after hair comes from Siberia, Mongolia and China. There are two types of hair: white hair and black hair. White horse hair is finer than black horse hair, which tends to be coarse. Some contrabass and cello players prefer black hair because it grips better. Others prefer a mixture of white and black hair, which is called "salt'n'pepper". The bow hair needs some sticky rosin applied to it in order to adhere to the string, but care should be taken not to apply too much rosin as it may lead to a choked sound. The hair is extremely sensitive to dirt and one must refrain from touching it. If it becomes dirty, it can be cleaned with denatured alcohol (care should be taken not to apply the alcohol to the stick, as it will ruin the finish and leave stains). With use, the bow hair eventually becomes too stretched and can't anymore be brought to playing tension. This is fixed by rehairing the bow, which should be done by a professional bow rehairer.

Although cheap bows are available which are made from plastic or fiberglass, better quality bows are made from different types of hardwood (usually brazilwood or lower-grade pernambuco), and master bows are usually made from select pernambuco or snakewood. Snakewood is also popular for the construction of baroque bows. The most important requirements for bow stick wood are density and uniformity of grain. Recently some makers began making bow sticks from carbon-fiber, trying to imitate the stiffness of high quality pernambuco.

The bow stick should be heavy enough to be able to grip the strings, and at the same time not too stiff, in order not to stifle vibrations. Another factor in the construction of the stick is balance. Some bows might have a very heavy tip, which might be useful for obtaining a strong sound, but makes the bow a bit clumsy. Other bows have a lighter tip, which will make them more agile, but will demand use of additional weight in the bowing arm. Bow sticks are also made in different shapes. Some models are curved inwards (as in most modern bows), some (usually the renaissance and baroque models) outwards, some are almost straight.

Different types of instruments have different types of bows in varying dimensions. For example, a viola da gamba bow is very different than a violin bow. And for each instrument there might be different models, for example the French (Bottesini) and German (Dragonetti) models for the contrabass. In addition, bows are constructed with different stiffnesses and weights. The choice of a bow is a matter of taste as well as musical requirements. For example, a baroque violin player will need a different bow than a violinist who plays modern repertoire. One player may prefer a stiff and light bow, while another would like a heavy bow with more elasticity.

The bow is considered by string players to be the 'soul' of the sound. Especially in historically-aware performance of renaissance and baroque music, musical expression is controlled by the bow (in contrast to the use of vibrato as the main expressive device in modern string playing). The modern violin Tourte bow was designed to obtain an evenly sustained sound, while the baroque violin bow is designed to produce a 'bell-tone' (clear attack and gradual decay). Some bows, called spiccato bows, are specifically designed to bounce off the string for clear articulation in the execution of fast stacatto passages.

For an excellent discussion of bows and their construction visit

Language: jargon: sailing

Bow: Naut.

  1. The forward (front) end of the boat.
  2. On a direct-reversing vessel, such as some car ferries, the end of the boat which is currently leading.

"The pointy end" is a common joke. The bow is, usually, pointed, but many hull designs, such as prams and scows, may in fact have flat bows. Other designs feature bulbous and rounded shapes, such as the Dutch Boiers and Mediterranean caravelles. The shape of the bow seen in profile may also have quite a range, from bluff vertical stems to curvaceous clipper bows, with or without long overhangs. Some boats attached trailer boards or figureheads at the bow.

At the bow are usually found chocks for mooring lines and anchor cables, bitts or cleats for tying them off, as well as other ground tackle gear such as a capstan or wildcat if the boat has them. The bow is made up of the stem, the luff planking, the foredeck structures, and spars such as bowsprit or staysail clubs if they are fitted.

  • Edwards, Fred; Sailing as a Second Language; International Marine Publishing Company; © 1988 Highmark Publishing Ltd.; ISBN 0-87742-965-0

Bow (no last name given) is a character on the 1980's cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power. He is a man who is very skilled at archery, thus his name. Bow is a member of The Great Rebellion, who are striving to free Etheria from the evil reign of Hordak. As such, he is the companion of Princess Adora and her alter-ego She-Ra, and is the show's main male character, as well as being (vaguely) a love interest.

Honestly, there isn't a whole lot to be said about the characterization of Bow, being that he was a character in a show designed for girls with short attention spans. But most of what can be said about Bow, as seen by today's jaded, ironic, hip and (quite often) stoned out of their mind late at night watching cartoons adults, is that Bow is flamingly gay. Apparently, pointing out the hetero or homosexual innuendos in both He-Man and She-Ra has been done many time before, and Bow is one of the main exhibits. Bow has a fashionable coif and a mustache, and wears... well, I don't quite know if there is a term for it. It is a metal breast plate that covers his shoulders and down to his nipples, while leaving his muscular abdomen uncovered. And a red cape. And, in one episode, a pink dress. He also plays the harp. And is generally bumbling unaware of what is going on around him, usually needing She-Ra to rescue him after he has been tied up and thrown in a dungeon.

I hope no one minds me indulging in stereotypes like this, because I am more talking about stereotypes about stereotypes than stereotypes themselves, as seen through the lovely tinted haze of ironic Gen-Xers scoffing at their cheezy past. But to sum up Bow, the sometimes-somewhat-competent archer on She-Ra, the top three phrases of description would be "Token Dude" "Kind of Dumb" and "Stereotypically Gay".

Bow (bou), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bowed (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Bowing.] [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. &root;88. Cf. Fugitive.]


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.


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.


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.


To cause to bend down; to prostrate; to depress,; to crush; to subdue.

Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave. Shak.


To express by bowing; as, to bow one's thanks.


© Webster 1913.

Bow (bou), v. i.


To bend; to curve.



To stop.


They stoop, they bow down together. Is. xlvi. 2


To bend the head, knee, or body, in token of reverence or submission; -- often with down.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Ps. xcv. 6.


To incline the head in token of salutation, civility, or assent; to make bow.

Admired, adored by all circling crowd, For wheresoe'er she turned her face, they bowed. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

Bow (bou), n.

An inclination of the head, or a bending of the body, in token of reverence, respect, civility, or submission; an obeisance; as, a bow of deep humility.


© Webster 1913.

Bow (bo), n. [OE. bowe, boge, AS. boga, fr. AS. bugan to bend; akin to D. boog, G. bogen, Icel. bogi. See Bow, v. t.]


Anything bent, or in the form of a curve, as the rainbow.

I do set my bow in the cloud. Gen. ix. 13.


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.


An ornamental knot, with projecting lops, formed by doubling a ribbon or string.


The U-shaped piece which embraces the neck of an ox and fastens it to the yoke.

5. Mus.

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.


An acrograph.

7. Mech. & Manuf.

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. Naut.

A rude sort of quadrant formerly used for taking the sun's altitude at sea.

9. Saddlery sing. or pl.

Two pieces of wood which form the arched forward part of a saddletree.

Bow bearer O. Eng.Law, an under officer of the forest who looked after trespassers. -- Bow drill, a drill worked by a bow and string. -- Bow instrument Mus., any stringed instrument from which the tones are produced by the bow. -- Bow window Arch. See Bay window. -- To draw a long bow, to lie; to exaggerate. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913.

Bow (bo), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Bowed (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Bowing.]

To play (music) with a bow.


v. i.

To manage the bow.


© Webster 1913.

Bow (bo), n. [Icel. bogr shoulder, bow of a ship. See Bough.]

1. Naut.

The bending or rounded part of a ship forward; the stream or prow.

2. Naut.

One who rows in the forward part of a boat; the bow oar.

Bow chaser Naut., a gun in the bow for firing while chasing another vessel.


- Bow piece, a piece of ordnance carried at the bow of a ship. -- On the bow (Naut.), on that part of the horizon within 45° on either side of the line ahead.



© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.