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[bob-stey] /ˈbɒbˌsteɪ/
noun, Nautical.
a rope, chain, or rod from the outer end of the bowsprit to the cutwater.
Origin of bobstay
First recorded in 1750-60; bob1 + stay3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bobstay
Historical Examples
  • Iron plates by which the lower end of the bobstay is attached to the stem.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Lowering himself from the port bow into the water, he clung to the bobstay.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman

    Albert Walter Tolman
  • The Kanaka caught the bobstay, climbed over the bow, and crawled aft.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • Twice in my life I have had men anchor the boat on the bobstay.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • You cannot make your bobstay too strong or fasten it too securely.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • It parted in a sea-way, and the shock broke the bobstay shackle.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • Twice we come within a bobstay of all goin' to Old Davy's store-house.

    Manuel Pereira F. C. Adams
  • I believe the fisherman with me was drowned, but I clung to the bobstay and was got on board.

    One of the 28th

    G. A. Henty
  • The chain plates, and the shrouds where they go over the mast should be looked at, and also the bobstay and other headgear.

    On Yacht Sailing Thomas Fleming Day
  • bobstay—A rope generally of wire extending from the end of the bowsprit to the stem to hold the spar down.

    On Yacht Sailing Thomas Fleming Day
British Dictionary definitions for bobstay


a strong stay between a bowsprit and the stem of a vessel for holding down the bowsprit
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from bob1 + stay³
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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