\ ˈwinch How to pronounce winch (audio) \

Definition of winch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various machines or instruments for hauling or pulling especially : a powerful machine with one or more drums on which to coil a rope, cable, or chain for hauling or hoisting : windlass
2 : a crank with a handle for giving motion to a machine (such as a grindstone)


winched; winching; winches

Definition of winch (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to hoist or haul with or as if with a winch

Illustration of winch

Illustration of winch


winch 1

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from winch


wincher noun

Examples of winch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During this process, a length of core—a cylinder of ice anywhere from 3 to 10 feet—must safely be carved out of the ice sheet, gripped, severed, and pulled to the surface by a winch. Jon Gertner, WIRED, "The Top Secret Cold War Project That Pulled Climate Science From the Ice," 12 June 2019 Pasquale and Giuseppe were lynched first, strung up in a slaughter yard on a winch used to skin cattle. Frank Viviano, The New York Review of Books, "Atrocities America Forgot," 6 June 2019 There are a few gear essentials everyone who drives off-road should carry, like a winch and a pair of Maxtrax recovery boards to extract you from sticky situations. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "This Pocket-Sized Gadget Airs Down Your Tires For Off-Roading in Seconds," 9 Jan. 2019 The FlyCroTug has three: winches, gecko grippers, and microspines. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Inspired by Wasps, This Micro-Drone Lifts 40 Times its Weight," 25 Oct. 2018 But there are some optional upgrades, including a microwave, additional solar panels, a front and rear recovery winch, and a lithium house battery system. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Off-road camper fits in a shipping container for overseas travel," 21 Aug. 2018 Finally, the robo-wasp has a winch to drag its haul home. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Inspired by Wasps, This Micro-Drone Lifts 40 Times its Weight," 25 Oct. 2018 It was towed around Chicago, despite a snow storm the Zki could have handled if not for the law, by Nissan Armada Snow Patrol, which has 35-inch wheels and a winch that can handle 12,000 pounds. Robert Duffer,, "Nissan rips up Chicago Auto Show with 370Z snowmobile," 7 Feb. 2018 To pull another vehicle with a winch, put your vehicle in neutral and stand on the brakes. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Gear You Need to Get Your Truck Unstuck," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here's a video demonstrating how to winch with your jack. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Don't Hit the Trail Without a Hi-Lift Jack," 13 Feb. 2017 As a tow truck came to winch the car out of the canal, Wilson's father, notified of the accident, began cruising the nearby streets, looking for his missing son. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Too Much Horsepower," 24 Dec. 2012 With one of those, if a component fails while winching, the line will simply fall to the ground without killing you. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Gear You Need to Get Your Truck Unstuck," 19 June 2018 The Scots saw the gigantic beams and basket winched into place. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "The Legend of Ludgar the War Wolf, King of the Trebuchets," 1 May 2017 Many of Lewis' rescues involve winching victims back out of the vertical pits that distinguish Southeastern caves. Bo Emerson, ajc, "Cave rescuers in Southeast watch their Thai colleagues with admiration," 10 July 2018 The 25-year-old was winched from the forest by a rescue helicopter which took her to the town of Tully where she was assessed at a hospital. Fox News, "Korean woman survives 6 nights lost in Australian wilderness," 7 June 2018 The movers deposited him in the pool and winched open a gate at the far end. Andy Newman, New York Times, "How Do You Move a Shark? Very Carefully," 16 May 2018 On shore, winches like the ones that raise and lower the sails can also generate electricity to charge cellphones. Jimmy Golen, The Christian Science Monitor, "Global sailing race spotlights plastic pollution in oceans," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'winch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of winch


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1529, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for winch


Middle English winche roller, reel, from Old English wince; akin to Old English wincian to wink

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Statistics for winch

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for winch

The first known use of winch was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for winch



English Language Learners Definition of winch

: a machine that has a rope or chain and that is used for pulling or lifting heavy things


\ ˈwinch How to pronounce winch (audio) \

Kids Definition of winch

: a machine that has a roller on which rope is wound for pulling or lifting

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More from Merriam-Webster on winch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with winch

Spanish Central: Translation of winch

Nglish: Translation of winch for Spanish Speakers

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