- (used as a command to stop or cease): Avast heaving!
Origin of avast
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for avast
Avast there, what did you do with the rest of that there keg of powder?Hunting the Skipper
George Manville Fenn
"Avast with that nonsense, as they don't say at sea," laughed Ned.The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code
John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton
“Avast pulling, and let the other boats close up,” he whispered.Salt Water
W. H. G. Kingston
Avast pulling,” cried Mudge; “I think I hear the sound of a waterfall.Twice Lost
Take warnin' and avast this cruel piratin' or you'll get it.Blackbeard: Buccaneer
Ralph D. Paine
- nautical stop! cease!
C17: perhaps from Dutch hou'vast hold fast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for avast
1680s, a nautical interjection, "hold! stop!" probably worn down from Dutch houd vast "hold fast."
AVAST. -- The order to stop, or pause, in any exercise or operation; as Avast heaving -- that is to say, desist, or stop, from drawing in the cable or hawser, by means of the capstan &c. [George Biddlecombe, "The Art of Rigging," 1848]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper