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noun (1)


less common spelling of gunwale

: the upper edge of a ship's or boat's side


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noun (2)

gun·​nel ˈgə-nᵊl How to pronounce gunnel (audio)
: a small slimy eellike bony fish (Pholis gunnellus) of the North Atlantic
broadly : any fish of the family (Pholidae) to which the gunnel belongs

Examples of gunnel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
My line went taut, and then the rig danced down the gunnel like a sewing machine needle toward the motor. Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Online, 10 June 2023 Young then reached his right hand into the water and guided the boys arms onto the starboard gunnel. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 June 2021 Selwood sprung up on the gunnel at the bow of the boat to avoid the thrashing shark and steadied himself by clinging to the tubular metal frame of the sun shelter, known as a bimini. Rod McGuirk,, 29 May 2017

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

Word History


Noun (2)

origin unknown

First Known Use

Noun (2)

1740, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gunnel was in 1740

Dictionary Entries Near gunnel

Cite this Entry

“Gunnel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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