a winch, esp. a simple one for lifting an anchor, a bucket in a well, etc.
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
to hoist, lower, or haul with a windlass
Any of numerous hauling or lifting machines consisting essentially of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank or a motor so that a line attached to the load is wound around the cylinder.
transitive verbwind·lassed, wind·lass·ing, wind·lass·es
To raise with a windlass.
Origin of windlassMiddle English wyndlas, alteration of windas, from Old Norse vindass : vinda, to wind + ass, 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.