abseil

verb
ab·​seil | \ ˈab-ˌsāl How to pronounce abseil (audio) , -ˌsī(-ə)l \
abseiled; abseiling; abseils

Definition of abseil

intransitive verb

chiefly British

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Other Words from abseil

abseil noun

Examples of abseil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In daring escapes, students abseiled down multi-story buildings to waiting motorcyclists or swam out through sewers. Time, "'I Absolutely Will Not Back Down.' Meet the Young People at the Heart of Hong Kong's Rebellion," 23 Jan. 2020 Others attempted daring escapes, crawling through underground sewerage systems or abseiling off a footbridge to make their way to waiting getaway vehicles below. Amy Gunia / Hong Kong, Time, "Hong Kong Protestors Built a 'Fully Functioning City' Inside a Besieged University. Here's What It Looked Like," 20 Nov. 2019 On a recent gusty day, dangling above the waves, mechanics abseiled down the 40-metre-long blades for routine maintenance. The Economist, "Orsted has helped boost the prospects of offshore windpower," 31 Aug. 2019 That was the febrile atmosphere on July 4th, when British marines abseiled onto the deck of the Grace 1 in Gibraltarian waters. The Economist, "What Britain’s release of an Iranian tanker says about its post-Brexit foreign policy," 22 Aug. 2019 Most people abseil from rock faces in the process of climbing, for instance. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Morning Whisky Apparently Fuels This 105-Year-Old's Continued Athletic Pursuits," 23 Jan. 2018 Those drills included special forces abseiling down the front of a downtown skyscraper to deal with a hostage situation, heavily armed forces driving in to intercept a bus hijack, a car chase to apprehend an attacker. Paula Hancocks, CNN, "2018 Winter Olympics: South Korea upbeat 100 days before Games," 1 Nov. 2017 Some anxious tower block residents have seen contractors abseiling from the tops of their buildings to collect samples of cladding to be sent for analysis. Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "Grenfell Tower fire: Police considering manslaughter charges," 23 June 2017 Over 1,000 feet high, the design features multiple jumping platforms, interior rock climbing walls and abseiling points, with a concert venue, residential towers and retail space attached. CNN, "How Dubai became an adrenaline junkie paradise," 12 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abseil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abseil

1941, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abseil

borrowed from German abseilen "to lower by a rope," (as a reflexive verb, "to descend by a rope"), verbal derivative from ab- "down, from" (going back to Old High German ab, aba, preposition) + Seil "rope," going back to Old High German seil, going back to Germanic *saila-, neuter noun, akin to Old Saxon sēl "rope," and with gender/stem variation, to Old English sāl, "rope," Old Norse seil, Gothic insailjan "to lower by rope"; Germanic *saila-, etc., a nominal derivative from Indo-European *seh2(i̯̯)- — more at of entry 1, sinew entry 1

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Time Traveler for abseil

Time Traveler

The first known use of abseil was in 1941

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Cite this Entry

“Abseil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abseil. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on abseil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abseil

Nglish: Translation of abseil for Spanish Speakers

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