1

windlass

noun wind·lass \ ˈwin(d)-ləs \
|Updated on: 4 May 2018

Definition of windlass

: any of various machines for hoisting or hauling: such as
a : a horizontal barrel supported on vertical posts and turned by a crank so that the hoisting rope is wound around the barrel
b : a steam or electric winch with horizontal or vertical shaft and two drums used to raise a ship's anchor

Recent Examples of windlass from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of windlass

Middle English wyneles, wyndlas, alteration of wyndase, from Old French guindas, windas, from Old Norse vindāss, from vinda to wind (akin to Old High German wintan to wind) + āss pole; akin to Goth ans beam


2

windlass

verb

Definition of windlass

windlassed; windlassing; windlasses
: to hoist or haul with a windlass

First Known Use of windlass

1834

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up windlass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a figure representing a hated person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a-closeup-of-a-sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!