- a rope running forward from the middle of a square sail's weather edge to the bow, used to keep the sail taut when the ship is sailing into the wind
- a knot used in making a loop that will not slip or tighten under tensionin full bowline knot: see knot,
Origin of bowlineMiddle English boueline, probably ; from Middle Dutch boeglijne (or Danish bovline); for Indo-European bases see bow and amp; line
on a bowline
with sails set so as to head close to the wind; closehauled
- Nautical A rope attached to the weather leech of a square sail to hold the leech forward when sailing close-hauled.
- A knot forming a loop that does not slip.
Origin of bowlineMiddle English bouline, probably from Middle Danish bovline or Middle Low German bōlīne, both from Middle Low German bōch līne : bōch, bow; see bheug- in Indo-European roots + līne, line (from Latin līnea; see line1).