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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also P.O.W., initialism (acronym) for prisoner of war, coined 1919 but not common until World War II.


expression imitative of a blow, collision, etc., first recorded 1881.


Etymology 1 interj. 1 Represents the sound of a violent impact, such as a punch. 2 Represents the sound of an explosion. n. 1 The sound of a violent impact. 2 The sound of an explosion. Etymology 2

n. (context Scotland Ireland northern England English) (alternative form of poll English)

POW (disambiguation)

POW stands for prisoner of war, a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict.

POW or pow may also stand for:

Pow (surname)

The surname Pow may refer to:

  • Rebecca Pow, British Conservative Party politician, MP for Taunton Deane since 2015
  • Shane Pow, Singaporean actor
  • Duncan Pow, British actor

Usage examples of "pow".

He was disembarked at Reykjavik, Iceland, under pledge of the strictest secrecy, later taken to a POW camp in Canada, and after the war signed an affidavit giving the facts.

Like a guard marching prisoners into a POW compound, Akers strode behind the four of them as they walked toward the habitat.

El Arish, the Israeli journalist Gabi Bron saw about 150 Egyptian POWs sitting on the ground, crowded together with their hands held at the backs of their necks.

The last three men, Vespasio, Han, and Huerta, would head for the POW compound.

Han should pass any casual inspection for the few minutes that Huerta and Vespasio would be away, and his knowledge of Korean and his Oriental features should let him field questions by anyone wondering where the small army guarding the POWs had gone.

And in the middest of them this renowned and famous Queene in great pompe and vnspeakeable statelynes, and the hemmes of hir vestures so edged and set with pearle and stone, as if nature had rayned and powred them down vpon hir.

Saddam Husayn, who had agreed on October 5, 1988, to the ICRC plan for prisoner repatriation, in March 1989 proposed in a letter to UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar that the UN guarantee the return of the freed POWs to civilian life.

A shaft of sun from between the willow branches pierced a pool below her and she could see a long, speckled trout resting in its warmth and puffs of sediment as a powter moved along the sludge of the river bottom.

Andaran military accords drafted centuries ago by the Andaran Commander of Armies Housip Kerellia and adopted by the Union of Arcana as the official standard for treatment of POWs and as the code of conduct to be followed by Arcanan personnel who become POWs.

And pretty soon that powder would start to hotten up right smart, and maybe a little smoke would come off it, and then pow!

The Japs treated POWs worse than they treated civilians, and that was saying something.

Whether the Japs cared about the tunnel or not, the POWs were going to work till they dropped.

The Queen whilest shee did wash her handes, one that caried the golden bason, receyued therin the water, that it might not fall agayne into the reassuming fountaine: and the other with the Ewrie, powred in as much sweete water as was borne away, because that the fountaine shoulde not be emptie, and hyndered in hys course.

Hee asked me the cause of our comming, I tolde him being in fight with the Spaniards our enemie, being over powred, neare put to retreat, and by extreme weather put to this shore, where landing at Chesipiack, the people shot us, but at Kequoughtan they kindly used us, wee by signes demaunded fresh water, they described us up the River was all fresh water, at Paspahegh, also they kindly used us, our Pinnasse being leake wee were inforced to stay to mend her, till Captain Newport my father came to conduct us away.

Alabaster boxe of oyntment of spikenard very precious, and shee brake the boxe, and powred it on his head.