Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

bow2 - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     bow pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a weapon made from a long curved piece of wood, used for shooting arrows
  2. 2
    a knot that you tie in something such as a piece of string so that there are two circular parts and two loose ends
    tie something in a bow:

    She had a yellow ribbon in her hair, tied in a bow.

    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    a long thin object that you use for playing instruments such as the violin or cello

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play