ratline definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
any of the small, relatively thin pieces of tarred rope which join the shrouds of a ship and serve as the steps of a ladder for climbing the rigging
also sp. ratlin
Origin: altered by folk etymology ; from Late Middle English ratling, radeling ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
ratline definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Any of the small ropes fastened horizontally to the shrouds of a ship and forming a ladder for going aloft.
- The material used for these ropes.
Origin: Middle English rathelinge (line), wattling, ratline (cord).