boatswain

noun boat·swain \ˈbō-sən\

Definition of boatswain

  1. 1 :  a petty officer on a merchant ship having charge of hull maintenance and related work

  2. 2 :  a naval warrant officer in charge of the hull and all related equipment

Variants of boatswain

or

less commonly

bos'n

or

bo's'n

or

bo'sun

play \ˈbō-sən\

Origin and Etymology of boatswain

Middle English bootswein, from boot boat + swein boy, servant — more at swain


First Known Use: 14th century


BOATSWAIN Defined for English Language Learners

boatswain

noun boat·swain \ˈbō-sən\

Definition of boatswain for English Language Learners

  • : an officer on a ship whose job is to take care of the main body of the ship and all the ship's equipment


BOATSWAIN Defined for Kids

boatswain

play
noun boat·swain \ˈbō-sən\

Definition of boatswain for Students

  1. :  a warrant officer on a warship or a petty officer on a commercial ship who has charge of the hull, anchors, boats, and rigging


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