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boatswain

noun boat·swain \ˈbō-sən\

Simple Definition of boatswain

  • : an officer on a ship whose job is to take care of the main body of the ship and all the ship's equipment

Full Definition of boatswain

  1. 1 :  a petty officer on a merchant ship having charge of hull maintenance and related work

  2. 2 :  a naval warrant officer in charge of the hull and all related equipment

Variants of boatswain

or bosun also bos'n or bo's'n or bo'sun play \ˈbō-sən\

Origin of boatswain

Middle English bootswein, from boot boat + swein boy, servant — more at swain


First Known Use: 14th century


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