Glossary of terms
New to the Archery World?
Get to know some of the archery lingo!
Here’s our glossary of archery terms in alphabetical order:
Aim - A focused attempt to direct the arrow toward its goal.
Arrowhead - The tip of the arrow that penetrates the target.
Anchor - A stable spot of the bowstring arm (on jaw/cheek) during the aim. Also known as 'anchor point.'
Archer - Archer is an individual who is well-versed in shooting using a bow and arrow.
Arm guard - A piece of protective equipment worn on the archer's forearm to prevent the bowstring from hitting their arm.
Aiming device - A device attached to the bow that helps the archer aim at the target.
Arrow cresting - The decorative paint or design on the arrow shaft.
Asymmetric limbs - A type of bow limbs that are shaped differently from each other.
Arrow quiver - A container used to hold arrows.
Archery - The method of shooting arrows by making use of a bow.
Bowstring - A fiber joining two ends of a bow for launching arrows. Can be rendered as two words ("bow string").
Barebow - The process of shooting without any bow sight or release aids.
Broadhead - A large arrowhead with sharper razor-like edges. This is primarily used in bowhunting.
Brace height - The distance between the bow grip and the bowstring when the bow is unstrung.
Bowstring Wax - A substance used to protect and lubricate the bowstring.
Bowhunter - An individual hunts by using a bow and an arrow.
Belly - The side of the bowstring which would face the shooter at the time when the bow is drawn.
Bowyer - A person involved in crafting, building, and making bows.
Cam - An elliptical-shaped pulley at the end of the limb in a compound bow is used to provide power.
Compund Bow - A modern type of bow using a set of cords and pulleys to gain leverage. This type would decrease the holding draw weights.
Crossbow - A weapon of ancient times that has been produced with steel and set diagonally over the stock. This will be smaller and stronger, held and fired like a rifle.
Clicker - Equipment used for pointing out the optimal draw length of the shooter.
Clout Archery - The practice of archery in which the shooters will aim the arrow toward a clout (a flag) from longer distances.
Cock Feather - The feather that is placed at the right angle to notch and is differently colored than the other two.
Composite Bow - A bow made by binding multiple layers of different materials together.
Core - The material that has been used at the nucleus of the bounded bow.
Draw - The act of pulling the bowstring back in preparation for releasing the arrow.
Draw Length - The distance between the front of the riser and the bowstring in the shooter's fingers while at full draw.
Draw Weight - The amount of force applied on the bowstring while drawing a particular distance. Usually, this will be calculated at a draw length of 28 inches.
End - A set of arrows that are hit before hitting the goal. Most typically, three, five, or six.
Eye - An opening at either end of the bowstring.
Empennage - The fletching or vanes on an arrow that help stabilize its flight.
Face - The bow's side that is closest to the bowstring. Also known as 'Belly.'
Fletching - The feathers/vanes utilized to stabilize an arrow during flight.
Finger Tab - A leather instrument that will be put on the surface of fingers to avoid the burning sensation.
Field Archery - A type of archery where the targets are set up in a natural environment, such as a forest.
Footing - A reinforcement added to the bottom of a wooden bow to prevent damage.
Fps - Feet per second; a unit of measurement used to describe the speed of an arrow.
Fuzzy - A term used to describe the covering on the end of an arrow, which is designed to absorb shock and prevent damage.
Ground Quiver - A metallic device that will be pressed into the ground for holding bows and arrows.
Grain - The standard units of measurement used when weighing the arrow and its parts.
Grip - The shooter clutches the central portion of the bow handle.
Gold - The center of the target, which is worth the most points.
Hand shock - The tremor felt in the drawing hand while releasing an arrow from the bow.
Hen Feathers - The feathers on an arrow that are of the same color. In a 3-feathered arrow, these are the two feathers projecting inwards when the arrow is being nocked.
Hunter class - A type of archery competition that simulates hunting scenarios.
Hold - The amount of time an archer keeps the bow at full draw before releasing the arrow.
Hybrid bow - A bow that combines features of both recurve and compound bows.
Hyzer - A type of shot in which the arrow is released with a downward angle, causing it to curve upward towards the target.
Heart shot - A shot aimed at the heart of an animal target.
Hot shot - A term used to describe an archer who shoots very quickly and accurately.
Hysteresis - The delay between changes in the bow's shape and changes in the bowstring's tension.
Hit - An arrow that penetrates itself into one of the scoring regions on the target's face.
Insert - A hollow stringed aluminum segment incorporated in the front part of the arrow, thereby enabling field points broadheads to get fastened into it.
Instant gratification - The feeling of satisfaction an archer experiences when hitting the target with a well-placed shot.
Iron sights - A type of sight system that uses two perpendicular posts or pins to align the bowstring with the target.
Impact point - The point on the target where the arrow hits.
Intuitive shooting - A method of shooting in which the archer relies on muscle memory and instinct, rather than aiming techniques.
Index nock - A type of arrow nock with a small protrusion that helps the archer position the arrow correctly on the bowstring.
Judo point - A flattened point with spring wires that would grip and keep the arrow from tripping.
Jig - A tool used to hold an arrow or arrow component in place while it is being assembled.
Joint - The point at which the limbs of a bow meet the riser.
Juxtaposed - The position of the bowstring in relation to the bow limbs when at full draw.
Javelin - A type of long, pointed arrow used in ancient times for hunting and warfare.
Javelin bow - A type of bow used for throwing javelin arrows.
Jaffa - A type of arrow that is slightly heavier than normal and is used for shooting at longer distances.
Jointed bow - A type of bow with detachable limbs that can be replaced or upgraded as needed.
Jute - A type of natural fiber used to make bowstrings and other archery equipment.
Kiss Button - A communication point on the bowstring for the shooter's lips to touch. This is to assure the stability and precision of the anchor point.
Keep - The portion of the bow that holds the arrow in place before it is released.
Kisser height - The vertical distance between the kisser button and the bowstring at full draw.
Knurling - The process of adding a pattern of small, raised bumps to a surface for better grip.
Longbow - Any perfectly straight or approximately straight bow in which the bowstring is not touching the limb while it is being braced. Generally, this would be five feet and longer.
Limbs - The flexible parts of the bow that store energy when the bowstring is drawn.
Laminated Bow - Although this is the same as a 'composite bow,' this term is particularly used for denoting the bow made from wood and fiberglass.
Mechanical release - An instrument used for helping the archer to draw the bow and release the arrow.
Micrometer sight - A type of sight that allows for precise adjustments in windage and elevation.
Metal riser - A bow riser made from metal, which is known for its strength and durability.
Mechanical broadhead - A type of broadhead that features retractable blades that expand upon impact with a target.
Milled riser - A bow riser that has been machined to remove excess material and reduce weight.
Nock - A notch at the hind side of the arrow that enables the arrow to be held at the bowstring while keeping it in position for shooting.
Nock point - The position on the bowstring where the nock of the arrow is placed.
Nose Button - A small button or pad attached to the bowstring that touches the archer's nose as a reference point
Overdraw - A device on a compound bow that allows the archer to draw the bowstring beyond the normal length.
Open sight - A simple sight with no magnification or adjustment features.
Peep Sight - A metal/plastic/rubber piece with a hollow. Placed in the bowstring that enables the archer to see through the string.
Point blank - A range will be mentioned as 'point blank' when an arrow navigates flat to the target.
Pile - The point or tip of an arrow, which is typically made of metal or other hard material.
Pressure button - Another term for a plunger, which is used to adjust the pressure applied to the arrow as it leaves the bow.
Press - A specialized tool used to compress and adjust the limbs of a compound bow.
Quiver - A container that would hold the arrows comfortably during the shooting process.
Quill - The shaft of a feather, which is used to make fletchings for arrows.
Quick-release - A type of release aid that allows the archer to quickly and easily release the bowstring.
Quiver hood - The part of a quiver that covers the tips of the arrows to protect them from damage.
Release - To shoot the arrow from the bow at full draw.
Release Aid - A mechanical tool for pulling the bowstring, enabling a better release.
Recurve Bow - A bow design in which the limbs would form a curving arc between the riser and the limb tips and the string when you brace the recurve bow.
Riser - The central part of the bow separates the limbs. This is the part that will not bend when you pull the string.
Rest - A tool for holding the arrow against the bow handle until the release.
Range - The zone that is being assigned for archery.
Sight - A device attached to the bow that helps the archer aim at the target.
Sight Pin - The part of the sight that an archer locates on the target during aim.
String Silencers - Devices that are attached to the bowstring to reduce the amount of noise it makes when it is released.
Stabilizer - A set of rods being utilized for providing stability to the bow.
Shaft - The main body of the arrow.
Spine - The rigidity of an arrow shaft in contrast to the flex.
Serving - The wrapped section in the central portion of the string for accepting the nock.
Target Archery - A type of archery where the targets are stationary and typically made of paper or foam.
Tuning - The process of adjusting the bow and arrows to achieve optimal performance.
Target Panic - A condition in which the archer becomes anxious or fearful when aiming at the target.
Tiller - The measurement of the bend in the bow limbs, which affects the draw weight and arrow speed.
Trajectory - The path of the arrow in flight.
Tab - A protective piece worn on the fingers that draw the bowstring.
Underbow - A type of bow that is held upside-down, with the grip pointed downward.
Unbraced length - The distance between the bowstring and the bow grip when the bow is not under tension.
Upper nocking point - The point on the bowstring where the uppermost part of the arrow is nocked.
Upshot: The final target of an archery shot, often used in tournament scoring.
Vanes - The plastic or rubber material attached to the back of an arrow to help stabilize its flight.
V-Bar - A small extender attached between the riser and stabilizer. Allows the inclusion of two small stabilizers being added as a counter support.
Vertical Bow - A type of bow where the limbs are oriented in a vertical plane, as opposed to a recurve or compound bow.
Windage - The horizontal adjustment of the sight to compensate for wind conditions.
White Nock - A type of nock that is usually used with aluminum arrows.
Wye - A type of target face featuring a "Y" shape with two scoring zones.
X-ring - The innermost and smallest ring on a target face, typically worth the most points.
X-nock - A type of nock that has a slotted opening instead of a solid one.
X-bow - A type of crossbow that shoots arrows or bolts horizontally, rather than vertically.
X-sight scope - A type of scope or sight used on crossbows that features multiple reticles and adjustable magnification.
Yardage - The distance between the archer and the target, measured in yards.
Yoke - A component of a compound bow that connects the two limbs and helps to distribute tension.
Youth bow - A smaller, lighter bow designed for younger archers or those with shorter draw lengths.
Yumi - A traditional Japanese bow made of bamboo and used in Kyudo, or Japanese archery.
Yoke tuning - The process of adjusting the yoke to ensure that the bow limbs are properly aligned.
Zen - A meditative practice that some archers use to improve focus and concentration while shooting.
Zero - The point at which an arrow hits its target dead center, often used as a benchmark for tuning and sighting in a bow.
Zonal - Referring to different areas or zones of a target face, often used in scoring or competition.