anchor

1 of 2

noun

an·​chor ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio)
plural anchors
often attributive
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
: 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
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
anchorless adjective

Illustration of anchor

Illustration of anchor
  • A yachtsman's

anchor

2 of 2

verb

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

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
Phrases
at anchor
: being anchored
a ship at anchor

Example Sentences

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
Noun
The Today cast stressed how positive Al was staying given his health ordeal, with Savannah adding a personal message in case her co-anchor was watching from home. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 18 Nov. 2022 Houston appears to have its lineup anchor for the next decade, one who turned in a season to remember in 2022. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 17 Nov. 2022 Hobbs, 52, defeated GOP opponent Kari Lake, a former TV news anchor, after an intense campaign for the Governor's Office. Stacey Barchenger, The Arizona Republic, 17 Nov. 2022 Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, rose to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the last election and warned that her Republican rival, former television news anchor Kari Lake, would be an agent of chaos. Jonathan J. Cooper, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Nov. 2022 Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, rose to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the last election and warned that her Republican rival, former television news anchor Kari Lake, would be an agent of chaos. Jonathan J. Cooper, Chicago Tribune, 15 Nov. 2022 But past skeptics be damned, the album has stood the test of time, with many now backpedaling their initial criticisms to revel in her unabashed outbursts of rage and ecstasy and its thematic anchor of tender love and care. Allaire Nuss, EW.com, 7 Nov. 2022 In the film, when Jon’s mother, the single most dominant person in his life, dies, his anchor is gone. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 Nov. 2022 Schoen also emphasizes oud's importance in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, thanks to its cultural anchor, but finds its western popularity still budding. Sable Yong, Allure, 23 Oct. 2022
Verb
For your beauty lover, an aromatic, intoxicating body oil that can anchor any beauty ritual, with an energizing fragrance of neroli and mandarin. Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 The open road will do that — the prairies, the mountains, the lakes, the two-lane Main Streets that anchor so many thousands of small towns, the big cities where prosperity and misfortune seem to engage in a daily clash. Brian Mcgrory, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Oct. 2022 In the living room, a pair of sofas upholstered in blue and green velvet are casual, modern, and cozy centerpieces that anchor the more rustic antiques around them. Marni Elyse Katz, House Beautiful, 16 Aug. 2022 Some gazebos are permanent fixtures that anchor into the ground, while others can easily pop up and be disassembled for easy storage when not in use. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 30 June 2022 The new Target outpost will be a small-format store that will anchor the surrounding shopping center, according to commercial real estate company Neville & Butler. oregonlive, 15 June 2022 The lines that anchor the turbine to the ocean floor can also house power transmission cables, connecting to a submerged cable that can carry the energy back to the power grid on land. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 8 June 2022 The door leading to the courtyard of the 5,000-square-foot weekend home. Local artist Roger Hopkins carved a $7,500 basalt table that Mr. Simon used to anchor the great room. WSJ, 2 Nov. 2022 Braxton Jones will have to get depth off the snap to be able to anchor and set his base earlier versus a power rusher like Thibodeaux. Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune, 1 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

Noun

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

Verb

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anchor. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

anchor 1 of 2

noun

an·​chor ˈaŋ-kər How to pronounce anchor (audio)
1
: 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
2
: something that serves to hold an object firmly or that gives a feeling of stability
the anchor of a bridge
3

anchor

2 of 2

verb

anchored; anchoring -k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce anchor (audio)
1
: to hold in place by means of an anchor
anchor a ship
2
: to fasten to a firm foundation
anchor the cables of a bridge
3
: to drop anchor : become anchored
the boat anchored in the harbor

Medical Definition

anchor

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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