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[ded-man, -muh n] /ˈdɛdˌmæn, -mən/
noun, plural deadmen
[ded-men, -muh n] /ˈdɛdˌmɛn, -mən/ (Show IPA)
Building Trades. a log, concrete block, etc., buried in the ground as an anchor.
a crutchlike prop temporarily supporting a pole or mast being erected.
  1. an object fixed on shore to hold a mooring line temporarily.
  2. a rope for hauling the boom of a derrick inboard after discharge of a load of cargo.
Also, dead-man's. Machinery, Automotive. of or relating to a control or switch on a powered machine or vehicle that disengages a blade or clutch, applies the brake, shuts off the engine, etc., when the driver or operator ceases to press a pedal, squeeze a throttle, etc.:
deadman throttle; dead-man's control.
Origin of deadman
dead + man1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for deadman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The dead are the defence of the living, and we are under the lee of deadman's Berg.

    Adrift in the Ice-Fields Charles W. Hall
  • The miners on deadman's Flat were jubilant, not to say uproarious.

    Grif B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • deadman's Reach is as perilous for its reefs as for its mussels.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • A small wood close by rejoices in the name of "deadman's Acre."

    A Cotswold Village J. Arthur Gibbs
  • It came from the vast concave of deadman's Bay, rising and falling against the pebble dyke.

    The Well-Beloved Thomas Hardy
  • They returned, therefore, to deadman's Alley, threading the bye-streets with the same secrecy as before.

    Katerfelto G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • She was hauled out of deadman's Dock into the river on January 13th, 1800, with her full complement of men and stores on board.

  • "The first land we made it was called the deadman," and they sang to the end very vigourously.

  • Fish were plenty every season one side or t'other of deadman's Cape, and there was lots of fur and swiles t' winter.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
British Dictionary definitions for deadman


noun (pl) -men
(civil engineering) a heavy plate, wall, or block buried in the ground that acts as an anchor for a retaining wall, sheet pile, etc, by a tie connecting the two
(mountaineering) a metal plate with a wire loop attached for thrusting into firm snow to serve as a belay point, a smaller version being known as a deadboy
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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