A bow is a weapon that shoots arrows powered by the elasticity of the bow. As the bow is drawn, energy is stored in the limbs of the bow, and when the string is released, all the energy is transferred to the arrow, which is propelled straight toward its target. The weapon is used for hunting, sport shooting, and occasionally for war.
Regular bows (covered by this tag) are pulled back manually, which takes more strength than popular belief would tend to attribute to the typical archer character in fiction. However, in later times, a version of the weapon called a crossbow would arise, which replaces manual pulling of the string with pulling by means of a mechanical device such as a lever or a crank, which allows for more powerful shots and can be used by those with less strength than a regular archer.