keelhaul was our Word of the Day on 02/26/2016. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of keelhaul in a Sentence
there's no need to keelhaul him—it was an honest mistake, and a small one at that
Recent Examples of keelhaul from the Web
To hell with a class action suit, these people should have been keelhauled under the Staten Island Ferry for a year.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'keelhaul.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Brutal History of keelhaul
In the mid-1600s, British monarchs were intent on using their powerful navy to expand their empire. Insubordination was not tolerated, and mutinous sailors were disciplined severely to discourage others from similar rebellion. Keelhauling was one of the worst penalties that could befall a renegade mariner. Although they definitely practiced the gruesome punishment, the British did not invent it—the Dutch did. Keelhaul is a translation of the Dutch word kielhalen, which means "to haul under the keel of a ship." Even after the practice was banned on European naval vessels in the mid-1800s, the word keelhaul remained in English as a term for a severe scolding.
Origin and Etymology of keelhaul
First Known Use: 1666See Words from the same year
Synonymsbaste, bawl out, berate, call down, castigate, chastise, chew out, dress down, flay, hammer, jaw, scold, lambaste (or lambast), lecture, rag, rail (at or against), rant (at), rate, ream (out), rebuke, reprimand, reproach, score, tongue-lash, upbraid
Related Wordsadmonish, chide, remonstrate (with), reprove; abuse, assail, attack, bad-mouth, blame, blast, censure, condemn, criticize, crucify, denounce, dis (also diss) [slang], excoriate, fault, harangue, knock, lace (into), lash, pan, reprehend, revile, scourge, slam, vituperate; belittle, disparage, mock, put down; ridicule, scoff, scorn
Near Antonymsapprove, endorse (also indorse), sanction; extol (also extoll), laud, praise
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up keelhaul? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).