capstan

noun cap·stan \ ˈkap-stən , -ˌstan \

Definition of capstan

1 : a machine for moving or raising heavy weights that consists of a vertical drum which can be rotated and around which cable is turned
2 : a rotating shaft that drives tape at a constant speed in a recorder

Origin and Etymology of capstan

Middle English, probably from Medieval French cabestant


CAPSTAN Defined for English Language Learners

capstan

Definition of capstan for English Language Learners

  • : a machine that turns so that rope or a cable can wind around it and move or lift heavy weights (such as a ship's anchor)


CAPSTAN Defined for Kids

capstan

noun cap·stan \ ˈkap-stən \

Definition of capstan for Students

: a device that consists of a drum to which a rope is fastened and that is used especially on ships for raising the anchor


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