- Also called bowline knot. a knot used to make a nonslipping loop on the end of a rope.
- Nautical. a rope made fast to the weather leech of a square sail, for keeping the sail as flat as possible when close-hauled.
- on a bowline, Nautical. sailing close-hauled.
- on an easy bowline, Nautical. close-hauled with sails well filled.
Origin of bowline
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bowline
The "Bowline Song" indicated that he was feeling particularly jubilant.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
The dogs' traces should be of skin and fastened with toggles or buttons to the bowline.A Labrador Doctor
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
Hence the ship sails on a bowline, or stands on a taut bowline.
A further involution makes what is termed a bowline on a bight.
The breeze was easterly—a wind which would carry us on a bowline to Jamaica.Old Jack
- a line for controlling the weather leech of a square sail when a vessel is close-hauled
- on a bowline beating close to the wind
- a knot used for securing a loop that will not slip at the end of a piece of rope
C14: probably from Middle Low German bōlīne, equivalent to bow ³ + line 1
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