Show Search Results Show Browse

A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bow, Bowe, v.1 Also: bouw, bou. [ME. bow(e, bou(e, etc., early bouȝe(n, buȝe(n, OE. búᵹan.]

1. intr. a. To bend or curve; to bend down. c1420 Wynt. i. 1350.
Thare bewys bowys all for byrtht
Ib. v. 156.
Wyth-all the buwys bowyd lawe
1513 Doug. ii. ix. 14.
A … lawrertre, Bowand towart the altare a litill wie
a1568 Bann. MS. 155 b/3.
I saw vnder ane tre bowane [: gane] A lows man lyand bund
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxviii. 33.
The rendring reid, vhilk bouis with euerie blas[t]

b. To bow in respect or submission; to stoop. Freq. fig. 1375 Barb. ix. 753.
Till at thou knaw The richt, and bow [to] it, as thou aw
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii. 96.
We red now That til oure bydding son thu bow
Ib. l. 796.
My empire hale to thé At thi lykine sall bowand be
c1420 Wynt. viii. 2186.
Throwe the kynrik as he past, The statis till hym bowyd fast
Ib. 2428.
He gert all bow till hys empyre
c1450-2 Howlat 915.
All birdis he rebalkit that wald him nocht bowe
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1990.
To bow at bidding, and byde not quhill thow brest
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxii. 118.
The Lord … Sall law under thy lyntell bow
1513 Doug. xii. i. 112.
The violent curage Of Turnus hie mynd bowit neuer a stage
1535 Stewart 5350.
Julius … wald delay na langar … Quhill he thame causit outher bow or brist
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 97.
Thocht body bow, ȝit dois the hairt dissent
c1590 J. Stewart 228 § 112.
Bouw I vold nocht to that blindit bitche [sc. Avarice]

c. To turn aside, incline. c1420 Wynt. v. 1180 (W).
Thai ... in him trowis Na for na panys fra him bowis
1456 Hay II. 48/30.
That he … bow nocht with vice agayn vertu

2. tr. a. To cause to bend or curve. a1400 Leg. S. i. 3.
Men may a stane neuir bow
1489 Treas. Acc. I. 126.
Ane angell qwhilk he bowyt and put abowte his beydis
1513 Doug. x. v. 36.
We beyn thy navy and thy flote, … Bowyt sum tyme of fyr and bych tre
1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 177.
Ane ald pan bowit
a1568 Bann. MS. 135 a/16.
A tre is best bowd quhen that it is ȝoung
a1570-86 Maitl. F. liii. 12.
Thair buclair is bowit
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 179.
Isobell tuik the pennie and bowit it
1630 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 649.
To bow or breik any iron … for transportation

b. To bend (the knees, etc.), incline (the head). a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 1091.
Thane the puple can kneis bou, Thankand god
a1500 Seven S. 65.
Thai with hedis bowit baire Thankit the lord
1513 Doug. viii. x. 85.
The sukkyn wolf … hir lang round nek bane bowand
Ib. xi. xv. 142.
Sche … Bowyt dovn hyr hed
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2435.
All peple … With bodeis bowit … maid adoratioun
1568 Sat. P. xlvii. 56.
Than cumis conscience … , bowand bak and schowder
a1578 Pitsc. I. 369/4.
Quhen sho came on Scottis ground, scho bowit and inclynnit hir selfe to the earth
1596 Dalr. I. 99/17.
The horses … thay vse to bow thair hochis

c. fig. To sway or subdue. 1513 Doug. xiii. vi. 106.
All our prayeris … Mycht nowder bow that dowr mannis mynd, Nor [etc.]
1533 Bell. Livy I. 169/2.
The myndis of pepill mycht be mare eselie bowit than brokin
1570 Leslie 167.
To bow and abate the heich and wrangous hartes of the peopill

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Bow v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: