Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “bow”


verb [I/T] (BEND)   /bɑʊ/
to bend the head or body forward as a way of showing respect , expressing thanks , or greeting someone: [T] We knelt and bowed our heads in prayer .
(Definition of bow verb (BEND) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of bow

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Physical gestures of respect, but you might be interested in these topics from the Moving or holding the body in various ways topic area:

Definitions of “bow” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the art and knowledge involved in preparing and eating good food

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More