Definition of longbow in US English:



  • A large bow drawn by hand and shooting a long feathered arrow. It was the chief weapon of English armies from the 14th century until the introduction of firearms.

    • ‘They took five shotguns, a longbow, arrows, a crossbow and bolts.’
    • ‘Visitors will be able to aim high with the English longbow or match their skills to the Agincourt archers or those of Robin Hood and his merry men.’
    • ‘Each rider took out his longbow and fitted arrow to string.’
    • ‘From dives, the archeologists have recovered the only examples of genuine English longbows as well as their arrows.’
    • ‘This single battle is taken as proof of how just effective the longbow was as a weapon.’
    • ‘In the fourteenth century Edward III incorporated mounted archers using the native longbow into his army.’
    • ‘Archers quickly exhausted quiver after quiver of arrows from their yew longbows.’
    • ‘They found a large stock of longbows and plenty of arrows.’
    • ‘The thrown spear did not survive competition with the longbow, crossbow, and firearm in the West but it continued in cultures innocent of gunpowder.’
    • ‘The others followed suit, some drawing swords, others fitting arrows into yew longbows.’
    • ‘The 2,000 arrows and nearly 150 longbows found on board reflect the continuing reliance on traditional methods of anti-personnel artillery.’
    • ‘The French first sent forward Genoese mercenary crossbowmen, whose weapons, their bowstrings slackened by a shower of rain, proved no match for the English longbows.’
    • ‘Before he could fire, Rae had an arrow fitted in her longbow.’
    • ‘The Welsh had been using the longbow since the twelfth century, but in the Welsh Wars of Edward I, it was introduced to the English.’
    • ‘However, war had moved on from the time of the Battle of Hastings and the longbow was now the most feared of weapons and not the knight on horseback.’
    • ‘The movie features many different races using many different types of longbows and crossbows in warfare.’
    • ‘If the pictorial evidence of the tapestry is to be taken as truthful in any way, then some of the archers had longer bows than others and the longest bows, in proportion to their users, are longbows.’
    • ‘The response he received was an angry retort from a man in the crowd holding a longbow, with an arrow strung and ready to fire.’
    • ‘They allowed some of the weekend's 700 visitors the chance to handle a longbow, the English national weapon in the Middle Ages and a formidable force on the battlefield.’
    • ‘In Europe in the Middle Ages the limitations of the heavily armoured mounted knight were finally exposed by Swiss infantry armed with pikes or halberds and English infantry armed with longbows.’
    crossbow, recurve
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