Bowsprit definition

bousprĭt, bō-
A spar, extending forward from the stem of a ship, to which the stays of the foremast are fastened.
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A large, tapered spar extending forward from the bow of a sailing vessel, to which stays for the masts are secured.
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(nautical) A spar projecting over the prow of a sailing vessel to provide the means of adding sail surface.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
bowsprit
Plural:
bowsprits

Origin of bowsprit

  • Middle English bouspret possibly from Middle Low German bōchsprēt bōch bow bheug- in Indo-European roots sprēt sprit sper- in Indo-European roots

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

  • First attested in late XIII century. Probably from M.L.G. bochspret: boch - "the bow of a ship" + spret - "pole".

    From Wiktionary