anchor

noun, often attributive
an·​chor | \ ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio) \

Definition of anchor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : 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
2 : a reliable or principal support : mainstay a quarterback who has been the anchor of the team's offense
3 : something that serves to hold an object firmly a bolt-and-nut cable anchor
4 : an object shaped like a ship's anchor
5 : an anchorman (see anchorman sense 2) or anchorwoman a TV news anchor
6 : the member of a team (such as a relay team) that competes last
7 : a large business (such as a department store) that attracts customers and other businesses to a shopping center or mall
8 mountaineering : a fixed object (such as a tree or a piton) to which a climber's rope is secured
at anchor
: being anchored a ship at anchor

anchor

verb
anchored; anchoring\ ˈaŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce anchoring (audio) \

Definition of anchor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to hold in place in the water by an anchor anchor a ship
2 : to secure firmly : fix anchor a post in concrete
3 : 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

1 : to cast anchor
2 : to become fixed

Illustration of anchor

Illustration of anchor

Noun

anchor 1: 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

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from anchor

Noun

anchorless \ -​ləs How to pronounce anchorless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for anchor

Synonyms: Noun

anchorperson, newscaster, newsreader [chiefly British]

Synonyms: Verb

catch, clamp, fasten, fix, hitch, moor, secure, set

Antonyms: Verb

loose, loosen, unfasten, unfix, unloose, unloosen

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But for students from a multigenerational town with deep roots, the school was an anchor. Washington Post, "From fire and ash to caps, gowns: Graduation in burned town," 6 June 2019 But for students from a multigenerational town with deep roots, the school was an anchor. Fox News, "From fire and ash to caps, gowns: Graduation in burned town," 6 June 2019 The Deco Drive alum is now an anchor at WPLG, Miami’s ABC affiliate. Shayne Benowitz, miamiherald, "Four local couples share their favorite summer activities, while making new memories with INDULGE," 4 June 2019 Michael Strahan is a very beloved co-anchor on Good Morning America. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Where Is 'GMA' Star Michael Strahan This Week? Fans Really Want to Know," 1 May 2019 Passover in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem is the historical anchor of the Gospels’ accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Paula Fredriksen, WSJ, "When Jesus Celebrated Passover," 19 Apr. 2019 More: From Shea Patterson to Rashan Gary: Michigan's roster, one group at a time A year ago, Gary got the opportunity to be a young anchor on what turned into one of the top defensive lines in America. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's defensive line may be outstanding with Rashan Gary as star," 10 June 2018 One of them, in a long-sleeved, figure-hugging sequined gown, was Lauren Sanchez, the former TV anchor the world didn’t yet know was Bezos’s new girlfriend. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Billion Dollar Divorces: What Happens When the Super Wealthy Risk Everything for Love on the Down-Low," 10 Apr. 2019 Don’t miss the cemetery, either, where the carvings atop each tombstone indicate that person’s station in life (a fez headdress was reserved for government officials, a turban for someone of the religious order, an anchor for a seaman, and so on). Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Inside, there’s cuisine for every appetite, anchored by Clare’s Kitchen, a fried chicken stall. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Warehouse District: How West Palm Beach’s newest nightlife village found suds, spirits and ‘soul’," 6 June 2019 The parking lot of 12100 Coffee and Communitas is newly home to a food-truck collective anchored by Glacier Bowl. Anchorage Daily News, "Add these new(ish) Anchorage food trucks to your rotation this summer," 6 June 2019 The Pride’s defense anchored by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris did enough to maintain a clean sheet. Iliana Limón Romero, Pro Soccer USA, "Alanna Kennedy golazo helps lift Orlando Pride to 1-0 win over Washington Spirit," 24 June 2018 Thankfully, he and costar Kathryn Newton had actual sets built and filmed on location in London and Scotland to anchor the astonishing world of Pokémon. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""Pokémon Detective Pikachu" Star Justice Smith on the Power of Representation, Fans Dressing Up as Tim Goodman, and Sequel Ideas," 17 May 2019 Dubbed House 28, the weekend retreat in southeastern Australia was designed with sustainability in mind, incorporating three 20-foot shipping containers sourced from nearby Port Melbourne and set on steel silts anchored in concrete piles. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 5 best shipping container houses of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 These hang in the center of the 50-seat dining room and help to anchor the communal table that runs underneath. Michael Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "Sorrel off to a stellar start in Pacific Heights," 6 July 2018 Projected as an inside linebacker in college, Conner is expected to anchor Thompson's defense in 2018. Josh Bean, AL.com, "Thompson 3-star LB Will Conner names finalists from SEC and ACC," 22 Apr. 2018 Democrats dominate districts anchored in big cities, where Trump opposition is fiercest. CBS News, "Suburban discontent may be Democrats' path to House majority," 23 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anchor.' 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 anchor

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for anchor

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

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Statistics for anchor

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anchor

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

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More Definitions for anchor

anchor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of anchor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)

anchor

verb

English Language Learners Definition of anchor (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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)

anchor

noun
an·​chor | \ ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio) \

Kids Definition of anchor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a heavy device attached to a ship by a cable or chain and used to hold the ship in place when thrown overboard
2 : someone or something that provides strength and support He is the family's anchor.

anchor

verb
anchored; anchoring

Kids Definition of anchor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to hold or become held in place with an anchor The riverboat was anchored at a sandy beach below tall bluffs.— Janet Shaw, Meet Kirsten
2 : to fasten tightly The cables are anchored to the bridge.
an·​chor | \ ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio) \
anchored; anchoring\ -​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce anchoring (audio) \

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on anchor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anchor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anchor

Spanish Central: Translation of anchor

Nglish: Translation of anchor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anchor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about anchor

Comments on anchor

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