Bode vs. Bowed

Photo of author


Bode and bowed are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words bode and bowed, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Bode means to be an omen or to be a harbinger of a future event. The word bode is often used in the phrases does not bode well and bodes ill, meaning that a certain sign or omen signals a poor outcome for a situation. The word bode is an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are bodes, boded, boding. Bode is derived from the Old English word, bodian, which means to foretell.

Bowed is an adjective that means bent forward or inclined or shaped like a bow. Bowed is also the past tense of the verb bow, a transitive verb that means to bend something or to play an instrument with a bow. Related words are bow, bows, bowing. The word bowed is derived from the Old English word, bugan, which means to curve or stoop.


Redistricting doesn’t bode well for Boebert (Aspen Times)

Recent news about EV battery fires does not bode well for California Governor Newsom’s executive order to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. (Eurasia Review)

On the other hand, you don’t want to feel you know in advance exactly how every aria and chorus will be paced, every cadence tapered off, every violin phrase authentically bowed — and, by and large, be proved correct. (The Times)

The beam holding up the first floor was cracked and the floor bowed, the dining room and antique furniture was smashed. (New Zealand Herald)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: