Origin of windlassMiddle English wyndlas, altered (infl. by -wyndel, a winding device from winden, wind) from windas, windlass from Old Norse vindass from vinda, to wind + ass, a beam
transitive verbwind·lassed, wind·lass·ing, wind·lass·es
Origin of windlassMiddle English wyndlas alteration of windas from Old Norse vindāss vinda to wind āss pole
(third-person singular simple present windlasses, present participle windlassing, simple past and past participle windlassed)
- To raise with, or as if with, a windlass; to use a windlass.
- To take a roundabout course; to work warily or by indirect means.