bow·​sprit | \ ˈbau̇-ˌsprit How to pronounce bowsprit (audio) , British usually ˈbō- \

Definition of bowsprit

: a large spar projecting forward from the stem of a ship

Examples of bowsprit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web She’s been removed from the ship’s bowsprit and taken below deck to the main hold to be treated for rot, stripped of old paint, and given a fresh coat of white with gold trim. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2021 That gives them about four months to do the often-tedious work of removing the old paint and dealing with the wood rot, which creeps in around the areas where the goddess is attached to the bowsprit. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2021 Made from recycled metal, wood, and rope, the vessel is complete with black pirate flags and a huge skeleton hanging from the bowsprit. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 31 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bowsprit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bowsprit

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bowsprit

Middle English bouspret, probably from Middle Low German boochspreet, from booch bow + spreet pole

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Time Traveler for bowsprit

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

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Dictionary Entries Near bowsprit



bowsprit bed

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Cite this Entry

“Bowsprit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bowsprit


bow·​sprit | \ ˈbau̇-ˌsprit How to pronounce bowsprit (audio) , ˈbō- \

Kids Definition of bowsprit

: a large spar sticking out forward from the bow of a ship


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