gang·​plank ˈgaŋ-ˌplaŋk How to pronounce gangplank (audio)
: a movable bridge used in boarding or leaving a ship at a pier

Examples of gangplank in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When Franklin walks up the gangplank to sail to Europe, the stairs come out now. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 Flash runs up the gangplank, onstage, and off the other side. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 26 Aug. 2023 In June, as part of a longer Manchin profile, The New Yorker relayed an anecdote from February about Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) nearly plunging into frigid water after slipping on an icy gangplank following a dinner aboard Almost Heaven with Manchin and Susan Collins (R-Me.). Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2021 Historically, various factors—tight sailing schedules, old-fashioned itineraries that favor daytime activities, and a desire to maximize the time passengers spend in onboard restaurants and bars—have meant that gangplanks are usually up by cocktail hour. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Mar. 2023 Her crew files down the gangplank. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, 23 Feb. 2021 Crews needed to run 1,000 feet of firehose across the dock, up the gangplank and then up the superstructure steps. oregonlive, 12 Feb. 2023 It’s what landlubbers call a gangplank, or the section that connects the boat to the dock. Kevin Koenig, Robb Report, 16 Sep. 2022 But then the queen, wearing tasteful low-heeled pumps, stepped out onto the slick gangplank and began sliding down the incline. Brittany Bowker,, 8 Sep. 2022

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

Word History


gang- (as in gangway) + plank entry 1

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gangplank was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near gangplank

Cite this Entry

“Gangplank.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


gang·​plank ˈgaŋ-ˌplaŋk How to pronounce gangplank (audio)
: a movable bridge from a ship to the shore

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