bow·​line | \ ˈbō-lən How to pronounce bowline (audio) , -ˌlīn \

Definition of bowline

1 : a rope used to keep the weather edge of a square sail taut forward
2 : a knot used to form a loop that neither slips nor jams — see knot illustration

Examples of bowline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To make your bow string, tie loops into both ends of the 550 cord, using bowline knots or a similar fastening. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, 25 June 2020 To teach me the bowline, DeMille used a little story of a rabbit and a tree. The Editors, Outside Online, 1 Jan. 2020 The bowline creates a loop at the end of a rope that cannot shrink or expand. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, 2 Apr. 2019 Connect with the folks at Southernmost Sailing School, who can show you your bowline from your clove hitch and take you out to see the dolphins. The Editors, Outside Online, 10 June 2019 The bowline knot, a simple and elegant configuration, never slips or comes loose under any strain or load. Monica Corcoran Harel, Marie Claire, 23 May 2017 Knots are useful in everyday life and specific kinds of knots are suitable for specific tasks — bowlines, cleats, hitches and nooses all hold things together in different ways. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, 16 Jan. 2017

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bowline

Middle English boweline, probably from bowe bow + line

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Time Traveler for bowline

Time Traveler

The first known use of bowline was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Bowline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for bowline


bow·​line | \ ˈbō-lən How to pronounce bowline (audio) \

Kids Definition of bowline

: a knot used for making a loop that will not slip

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