bow·​sprit ˈbau̇-ˌsprit How to pronounce bowsprit (audio)
 British usually  ˈbō-
: a large spar projecting forward from the stem of a ship

Examples of bowsprit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This time, he’s decided to make the big cat a permanent fixture by incorporating a silver sculpture on the underside of the bowsprit. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2024 Among the improvements Lawson made was removing the bowsprit, a pole used to hoist big sails. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 28 July 2023 On game day when Khan’s NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, are playing, a 13-foot silver statue of a jaguar with its paw resting on a football helmet is mounted on the bowsprit. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 9 June 2023 While her towering wooden masts, 39-foot bowsprit, and extensive sail plan are exact replicas, McLaren curated the interior spaces himself, from the original Frank Beken photographs that adorn the solid mahogany, Georgian raised paneled walls to the ruby red leather upholstery and vintage fittings. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 26 May 2023 From her needle-like, gold-leafed bowsprit, to her rounded, oh-so-elegant fantail stern, Nadan oozes Art Deco-era style and elegance. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 14 Apr. 2023 In this image taken from video provided by the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the bowsprit of the Ironton is seen in Lake Huron off Michigan's east coast in a June 2021 photo. CBS News, 1 Mar. 2023 The lengthy bowsprit stretches 30-feet forward of the bow and is open to passengers during the day. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2022 Onboard, older kids can partake in mast climbing, learn to tie sailor knots, or hang out in the bowsprit netting watching for dolphins. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bowsprit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near bowsprit

Cite this Entry

“Bowsprit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bow·​sprit ˈbau̇-ˌsprit How to pronounce bowsprit (audio)
: a large pole for sails sticking out from the bow of a ship
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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