Definition of prow in English:



  • 1The pointed front part of a ship; the bow.

    • ‘The sound of water gently slurping past the prow of a slow-moving vessel is what I want to hear for all eternity.’
    • ‘Irene, standing at the end of the pier, pointed excitedly toward the yacht's prow.’
    • ‘This type of hull is called a Hulk construction, giving the ship a ‘banana’ shaped hull which has low prows.’
    • ‘Sailors waved, and Cherston made his way to the prow to look for the returning sailors and Atwood.’
    • ‘Each boat is over l00 ft long, with arched snake-like prows, vividly decorated; crews of over 100 men row in perfect unison to age-old chants, cheered on by delirious crowds, all part of an unforgettable drama.’
    • ‘They readied the ship on the waves under the cliffs and the warriors stood at the prow as the water wound against the sand.’
    • ‘At night, as you dine by oil lamp on kingfish, pilau rice and tropical fruits, the fishing boats set forth once more like Viking ships, their prows cutting through the waves and paddles fighting with the swell.’
    • ‘The torpedo tubes were built into the prow, with a high freeboard providing good protection from the waves.’
    • ‘The ship leans to the wind and the silence is broken only by the rush of clear, Caribbean water at her prow.’
    • ‘Vessels seeking blessing had approached the Carmelita's barque, their crews tossing offerings of food and drink into the water by her prow.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most vivid suicide in literature that comes to mind, or the one that stays with me, is Hart Crane jumping off the prow of the ship into the Gulf of Mexico.’
    • ‘Finally a sacred symbol is painted on the prow; a common one is eyes that search unceasingly for prey.’
    • ‘The ship's prow swung ponderously away from the Aurora Borealis, and her main thrusters fired to accelerate her away from the liner.’
    • ‘He could see tiny silhouettes scurrying across the ship's prow as it prepared to land, shadows against the sun.’
    • ‘After his seventh Pentecost at sea Brendan finally sails back towards Ireland and home, with the Steward in the prow as pilot.’
    • ‘The fog is as thick as it ever has been - perhaps even thicker - standing aft, the prow of his own ship is completely obscured.’
    • ‘Its southern corner, sharper than the others and bristling with defences, has a keep rising above it like a prow of some fantastically huge ocean liner.’
    • ‘Something thudded softly against the prow of our boat as we pulled upstream, and in the half-light before dawn it was difficult to tell what it was.’
    • ‘In the drawing, Titanic glided through the ocean, as the waves crashed onto the prow of the ship, as the four funnels released black smoke.’
    • ‘The menu says the property dates back to the 15th century and once belonged to a sea captain, hence the prow from a ship that surmounts the entrance door.’
    • ‘A graceful and brightly painted barge with a swan's head carved on its prow sped across Lake Tallian towards Tellui the next morning.’
    • ‘The sails were red silk, the prows were adorned with carved animal heads and painted dragon eyes.’
    • ‘Rris crewmen were up in the prow, shouting commands back to the wheelhouse.’
    • ‘The ship traveled swiftly for one of its size, and the organic curves of the ship's prow and hull made it seem truly alive.’
    • ‘You could almost be looking up from a dinghy at the prow of a great ship.’
    • ‘We decided to swim forward to inspect what I remembered as the beautifully curved prow of this sleek ship.’
    bow, bows, stem, fore, forepart, front, head, nose, cutwater
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The pointed or projecting front part of something such as a car or building.
      ‘the commanding prow of the Jaguar’
      • ‘A giant art installation was launched today on the prow of BBC Broadcasting House, London.’
      • ‘Exterior styling for the Accord appears sleek, but angular and edgy with a squared-off prow and classy beveled grille.’
      • ‘Its wide, gently chiseled shape features wheel arches that ride low and snugly over the tires. The massive prow politely but firmly clears the way.’
      • ‘Signal is the first of four large-scale art installations which will cover the prow of the building between now and February 2004.’
      • ‘But the world still comes to visit Foster where he sits, at the downstream end, the angled prow, of the studio.’


Mid 16th century: from Old French proue, from Provençal proa, probably via Latin from Greek prōira, from a base represented by Latin pro ‘in front’.