Boatswain definition

bōsən
A warrant officer or petty officer in charge of a ship's rigging, anchors, cables, and deck crew.
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A kind of gull, the jaeger.
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A ship's warrant officer or petty officer in charge of the deck crew, the rigging, anchors, boats, etc.
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(nautical) The officer (warrant officer) in charge of sails, rigging, anchors, cables etc. and all work on deck of a sailing ship.
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(nautical) The petty officer of a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
boatswain
Plural:
boatswains

Origin of boatswain

  • Middle English botswein bot boat boat swein mate swain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • First attested around 1450, from Old English batswegen, from bāt (“boat”) + Old Norse sveinn (“boy”).

    From Wiktionary

  • boat +‎ swain (“boy, servant”)

    From Wiktionary