Etymology
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bow (v.1)

with a short -o-, Old English bugan "to bend, become bent, have or assume a curved direction; to bow down, bend the body in condescension or reverence, to submit," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, past participle bogen), from Proto-Germanic *bugon (source also of Dutch buigen, Middle Low German bugen, Old High German biogan, German biegen, Gothic biugan "to bend," Old Norse boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE root *bheug- "to bend." Related: Bowed; bowing. To bow out "withdraw" is from 1942, from the notion of "exit with a bow or bows."

bow (n.1)

"strung, elastic weapon for shooting arrows," Old English boga "archery bow; anything bent or arched, an arch, a rainbow," from Proto-Germanic *bugon (source also of Old Norse bogi, Old Frisian boga, Dutch boog, German Bogen "bow"), from PIE root *bheug- "to bend," with derivatives referring to bent, pliable, or curved objects. The sense of "a looped knot," especially an ornamental one, is from 1540s. The musician's bow (1570s) formerly was curved like the archer's.

The former popularity of the longbow as a characteristic English weapon is attested in expressions such as bow-legged; to have the bent of (one's) bow "know one's intentions or inclinations" (1560s), to shoot in (another's) bow "practice an art other than one's own;" bow-hand "the left hand," hence "on the wrong side, inaccurately;" have two strings to (one's) bow "have more than one means to accomplish something;" draw the long bow "exaggerate, lie."

bow (n.2)

with a short -o-, "forward part of a ship," beginning where the sides trend inward, mid-14c., from a source such as Old Norse bogr, Middle Low German boog, Middle Dutch boech "bow of a ship," from Proto-Germanic *bugon-, from PIE root *bheug- "to bend," with derivatives referring to bent, pliable, or curved objects.

bow (n.3)

with a short -o-, "an inclination of the body or head" (in reverence, etc.), 1650s, from bow (v.1).

bow (v.2)

with a long -o-, "to have or assume the form of a bow," from bow (n.1), by late 18c., but difficult to distinguish in print from bow (v.1). In music, "to perform with a bow upon a stringed instrument," by 1838.

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Definitions of bow
1
bow (n.)
a knot with two loops and loose ends; used to tie shoelaces;
Synonyms: bowknot
bow (n.)
a slightly curved piece of resilient wood with taut horsehair strands; used in playing certain stringed instruments;
bow (n.)
front part of a vessel or aircraft;
he pointed the bow of the boat toward the finish line
Synonyms: fore / prow / stem
bow (n.)
a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient wood with a taut cord to propel the arrow;
bow (n.)
something curved in shape;
Synonyms: arc
bow (n.)
bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting;
Synonyms: bowing / obeisance
bow (n.)
an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience;
Synonyms: curtain call
bow (n.)
a decorative interlacing of ribbons;
bow (n.)
a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments;
2
bow (v.)
bend one's knee or body, or lower one's head;
She bowed her head in shame
He bowed before the King
Synonyms: bow down
bow (v.)
yield to another's wish or opinion;
The government bowed to the military pressure
Synonyms: submit / defer / accede / give in
bow (v.)
bend the head or the upper part of the body in a gesture of respect or greeting;
He bowed before the King
bow (v.)
bend one's back forward from the waist on down;
She bowed before the Queen
Synonyms: crouch / stoop / bend
bow (v.)
play on a stringed instrument with a bow;
From wordnet.princeton.edu