noun cap·stan \ˈkap-stən, -ˌstan\

: a machine that turns so that rope or a cable can wind around it and move or lift heavy weights (such as a ship's anchor)

Full Definition of CAPSTAN

:  a machine for moving or raising heavy weights that consists of a vertical drum which can be rotated and around which cable is turned
:  a rotating shaft that drives tape at a constant speed in a recorder

Origin of CAPSTAN

Middle English, probably from Middle French cabestant
First Known Use: 14th century
CAPSTAN Defined for Kids


noun cap·stan \ˈkap-stən\

Definition of CAPSTAN for Kids

:  a device that consists of a drum to which a rope is fastened and that is used especially on ships for raising the anchor


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