- 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
Origin of bowlineMiddle English boueline, probably from Middle Dutch boeglijne (or Danish bovline); for Indo-European bases see bow and 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 but that can be untied easily.
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 line 1. )