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an·​chor ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio)
plural anchors
often attributive
: 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
a quarterback who has been the anchor of the team's offense
: something that serves to hold an object firmly
a bolt-and-nut cable anchor
: an object shaped like a ship's anchor
: a broadcaster (as on a news program) who introduces reports by other broadcasters and usually reads the news : an anchorman or anchorwoman
a TV news anchor
: the member of a team (such as a relay team) that competes last
: a large business (such as a department store) that attracts customers and other businesses to a shopping center or mall
mountaineering : a fixed object (such as a tree or a piton) to which a climber's rope is secured
anchorless adjective

Illustration of anchor

Illustration of anchor
  • A yachtsman's
  • 1 ring
  • 2 stock
  • 3 shank
  • 4 bill
  • 5 fluke
  • 6 arm
  • 7 throat
  • 8 crown
  • B fluke
  • C grapnel
  • D plow
  • E mushroom


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anchored; anchoring ˈaŋ-k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce anchor (audio)

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 …Gray D. Boone
anchoring the evening news

intransitive verb

: to cast anchor
: to become fixed
at anchor
: being anchored
a ship at anchor

Examples of anchor in a Sentence

Noun The ship dropped anchor in a secluded harbor. He described his wife as the emotional anchor of his life. a local bank that has been the financial anchor of the community Verb They anchored the ship in the bay. The ship anchored in the bay. a star quarterback who has anchored the team's offense for many years See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Recent comments by Raymond Arroyo, a Fox News anchor, have stirred up much controversy and debate. Elijah Clark, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Charles Osgood Charles Osgood, the venerable CBS news anchor and radio personality, died Jan. 23 at 91-years-old. Ew Staff,, 23 Feb. 2024 Johnson takes a similar on-the-ground approach in markets like China, which former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo roundly criticized as a place to do business during a fireside chat with Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. Diane Brady, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2024 In a 2023 report on him, a Univision news anchor warned those entering the business to exercise extreme caution. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 In the two most high-profile races, incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly defeated Republican challenger Blake Masters, while Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, narrowly defeated Republican news anchor Kari Lake for governor. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2024 Finally, embellishing the lower anchor are peanuts and their yellow blossoms, a reminder of Carter's years as a farmer and businessman in Plains, Georgia. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 22 Feb. 2024 With the Rangers as the anchor for the project, the record also featured Paul McCartney and the Chicks. Garret K. Woodward, Rolling Stone, 20 Feb. 2024 Steven Romo Steven Romo is a correspondent and anchor for NBC News. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 20 Feb. 2024
Limited Exploration: When anchored to a particular piece of information, individuals may fail to explore other options or alternatives fully. Bryce Hoffman, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024 Its grand lobby is a visual treat for the eyes – with vaulted ceilings punctuated with golden Murano chandeliers and sconces; luxe, cozy vignettes meant for sipping cocktails or snuggling with a book; and an adjacent ballroom anchored by a theatrical Chihuly chandelier. Angela Caraway-Carlton, Miami Herald, 23 Feb. 2024 The brows anchored a soft pink and peach makeup look similar to the pastel pink outfit, with peachy blush on the apples of her cheeks, a hint of baby pink on her eyes, and a slick of pale pink gloss. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 21 Feb. 2024 In response to criticism, now 98% of Olympic housing will be within the homes of locals, with athletes accommodated on a cruise ship anchored nearby. Daniel Cole, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Feb. 2024 So next Sunday will be my last Sunday anchoring ‘Nightly News,’ Snow said. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 18 Feb. 2024 The folding aspect works with both the frame and the handlebar stem anchored by a magnet lock to keep the package secure. Nathan Borchelt, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2024 But the process still requires a human mason to do the pointing, smoothing out the mortar, and also to install the wall ties that anchor the bricks to rest of the house’s structure. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 15 Feb. 2024 For years, the club anchored the thriving uptown nightlife scene at 6th and College streets. Melissa Oyler, Charlotte Observer, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anchor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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 the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of anchor was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near anchor

Cite this Entry

“Anchor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
an·​chor ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio)
: a device usually of metal that is attached to a boat or ship by a cable and that when thrown overboard digs into the earth and holds the boat or ship in place
: something that serves to hold an object firmly or that gives a feeling of stability
the anchor of a bridge


2 of 2 verb
anchored; anchoring -k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce anchor (audio)
: to hold in place by means of an anchor
anchor a ship
: to fasten to a firm foundation
anchor the cables of a bridge
: to drop anchor : become anchored
the boat anchored in the harbor

Medical Definition


transitive verb
an·​chor ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio)
anchored; anchoring -k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce anchor (audio)
: to relate psychologically to a point or frame of reference (as to a person, a situation, an object, or a conceptual scheme)

More from Merriam-Webster on anchor

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