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A bow is a weapon that projects arrows powered by its elasticity. Essentially, it is a form of spring. As the bow is drawn, energy is stored in the limbs of the bow and transformed into rapid motion when the string is released, with the string transferring this force to the arrow. Bows are used for hunting, for sport, and still occasionally for war. The development of gunpowder and muskets, and the growing size of armies, slowly led to the replacement of bows as weapons of war.

The technique of using a bow is called archery. Someone who makes bows is known as a bowyer, and one who makes arrows is a fletcher.

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