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[bit] /bɪt/ Nautical
Also called bollard. a strong post of wood or iron projecting, usually in pairs, above the deck of a ship, used for securing cables, lines for towing, etc.
verb (used with object)
to wrap (a cable) around a bitt to secure it.
Origin of bitt
Middle English, perhaps < Dutch or Low German; compare Dutch, Low German beting, in same sense, akin to Middle High German bizze wooden peg, Old Norse biti crossbeam Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bitt
Historical Examples
  • A small silver coin of the West Indies, six of which make a bitt.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The bitt for the bowsprit to be stepped in runs through the deck and into the keelson.

  • The hawser had but just been loosened from the bitt when the drag of the waters began.

    A Runaway Brig; James Otis
  • Keep one turn round the bitt, and heave in on it when the painter slacks.

  • bitt′ers, a liquid prepared from bitter herbs or roots, and used as a stomachic.

  • A serpentine hawser slipped from its bitt on the wharf and splashed writhing into the water at our feet—we were sailing.

    Vistas in Sicily Arthur Stanley Riggs
  • Bite is a turn of a cable, and the bitter end is that part of the cable which is wound round the bitt.

    Proverb Lore F. Edward Hulme
  • He untied the vinta line from the anchor rope and temporarily hitched it to a bitt while he hauled in the anchor.

    The Pirates of Shan Harold Leland Goodwin
  • The blade or bitt is about eight inches in length, the cutting edge four and seven-eighths to five inches in width.

    The Way to the West Emerson Hough
  • On a bight of this rope, between the block and the bitt, the accumulator was lashed.

British Dictionary definitions for bitt


one of a pair of strong posts on the deck of a ship for securing mooring and other lines
another word for bollard (sense 1)
(transitive) to secure (a line) by means of a bitt
Word Origin
C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse biti cross beam, Middle High German bizze wooden peg
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
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