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Bow(bō), river, 315 mi (507 km) long, rising in the Rocky Mts., S Alta., Canada, and flowing SE through Banff National Park. It emerges from the mountains in the Bow River Pass and continues past Calgary southeastward across the plains to its junction with the Belly River to form the South Saskatchewan River. Several dams have been built along the Bow, most notably the Bassano or Horseshoe Bend Dam (built 1912).
bow(bō), implement used in playing stringed instruments. Its name originated from the fact that in its early form it resembled an archer's bow, but by the 17th cent. the European bow had gradually become flat. The violin bow received its definitive form during the period from 1775 to 1781 at the hands of François Tourte (1747–1835). He made the bow of brazilwood (Pernambuco wood), gave it a slightly concave curvature, and invented the device by which the horsehairs are held in place and tightened. The cello and the double bass are played with a bow that is shorter, broader, and heavier than the violin bow.
a hand weapon for shooting arrows.
The bow was used by virtually all tribes and peoples of the world (except for the indigenous inhabitants of Australia and Micronesia) from the Mesolithic period until the 17th century. (Some peoples use them still in the 20th century.) The simple bow was a piece of wood bent into an arc with the ends connected by a bowstring. It was used by the peoples of South Africa, South America, and Melanesia and was common among the Romans, ancient Germans, Normans, and Anglo-Saxons.
The composite bow consisted of a wooden base that had sinews glued on its outer side and pieces of horn on the inside. The middle and ends of the handle sometimes had bone overlays. It was stronger than the simple bow and surpassed it in range of fire; it was used by the peoples of the ancient Orient. On the territory of the USSR the composite bow was known in the first millennium B.C. among the Scythian and Sarmatian tribes, the Huns of the Transbaikal region, and the Middle Asian peoples. The ancient Russian bow was of the complex type. It was used by foot soldiers and cavalry. In the Middle Ages the bow coexisted and competed with the firearm for an extended period. Archery is one of the most ancient types of sport.
(or prow), the forward extremity of a ship. The structures of a ship that adjoin the stem are usually referred to as the bow; sometimes the term refers only to the outline of the forward extremity. The shape of the bow depends on the function and dimensions of the vessel; the shape of the forward outline affects such operating characteristics as the drag of the water, the ability to mount waves, and ice-breaking performance.
a wooden rod with a number of horsehairs stretched from end to end. It is used to produce sound from stringed instruments.