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

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, "The Best Road Trips in North America," 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, "I Signed My Husband Up for a Couples Survival Course," 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, "Eight Crossings and 192 Atoms Long: the Tightest Knot Ever Tied," 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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Statistics for bowline

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for bowline

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

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on bowline

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bowline Encyclopedia article about bowline

Comments on bowline

What made you want to look up bowline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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