Bowline definition

bōlĭn, -līn
Frequency:
A knot forming a loop that does not slip.
noun
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(nautical) A rope attached to the weather leech of a square sail to hold the leech forward when sailing close-hauled.
noun
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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.
noun
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A knot used in making a loop that will not slip or tighten under tension.
noun
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(nautical) A knot tied so as to produce an eye or loop in the end of a rope; it will not slip or jam.
noun
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on a bowline
  • with sails set so as to head close to the wind; closehauled
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
bowline
Plural:
bowlines

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

on a bowline

Origin of bowline

  • Middle English bouline probably from Middle Danish bovline or Middle Low German bōlīne both from Middle Low German bōch līne bōch bow bheug- in Indo-European roots līne line (from Latin līnea line1)

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