The prow is the very most forward part of a ship's bow that cuts through the water. The prow and stem and its surrounding parts of a ship is often used interchangably. It is often depicted in movies with carved figurehead in the form of a mermaid, a woman in 19th-century dress, or other similar figure. The prow is the part of the bow above the waterline. In old naval parlance, the prow applied to the battery of guns placed in the fore gun-deck.

"Prow" may also refer to a pointed projecting front part of other travelling objects, such as a racing skate, airplane or chariot.

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