noun, often attributive \ˈaŋ-kər\

: a heavy device that is attached to a boat or ship by a rope or chain and that is thrown into the water to hold the boat or ship in place

: a person or thing that provides strength and support

: a large store that attracts customers and other businesses to an area (such as a shopping mall)

Full Definition of ANCHOR

:  a device usually of metal attached to a ship or boat by a cable and cast overboard to hold it in a particular place by means of a fluke that digs into the bottom
:  a reliable or principal support :  mainstay
:  something that serves to hold an object firmly
:  an object shaped like a ship's anchor
:  the member of a team (as a relay team) that competes last
:  a large business (as a department store) that attracts customers and other businesses to a shopping center or mall
:  a fixed object (as a tree or a piton) to which a climber's rope is secured
an·chor·less \-ləs\ adjective
at anchor
:  being anchored

Examples of ANCHOR

  1. The ship dropped anchor in a secluded harbor.
  2. He described his wife as the emotional anchor of his life.
  3. a local bank that has been the financial anchor of the community

Illustration of ANCHOR

Origin of ANCHOR

Middle English ancre, from Old English ancor, from Latin anchora, from Greek ankyra; akin to Old English anga hook — more at angle
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Nautical Terms

avast, aweigh, flotsam, jib, keel, lee, port, starboard, stay



: to keep a ship or boat from moving by using an anchor

: to connect (something) to a solid base : to hold (something) firmly in place

: to be the strongest and most important part of (something)


Full Definition of ANCHOR

transitive verb
:  to hold in place in the water by an anchor <anchor a ship>
:  to secure firmly :  fix <anchor a post in concrete>
:  to act or serve as an anchor for <it is she who is anchoring the rebuilding campaign — G. D. Boone> <anchoring the evening news>
intransitive verb
:  to cast anchor
:  to become fixed

Examples of ANCHOR

  1. They anchored the ship in the bay.
  2. The ship anchored in the bay.
  3. a star quarterback who has anchored the team's offense for many years

First Known Use of ANCHOR

13th century


transitive verb \ˈaŋ-kər\   (Medical Dictionary)
an·choredan·chor·ing \-k(ə-)riŋ\

Medical Definition of ANCHOR

: to relate psychologically to a point or frame of reference (as to a person, a situation, an object, or a conceptual scheme)


Next Word in the Dictionary: anchorage
Previous Word in the Dictionary: ancho
All Words Near: anchor

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