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[fohk-suh l, fawr-kas-uh l, -kah-suh l, fohr-] /ˈfoʊk səl, ˈfɔrˌkæs əl, -ˌkɑ səl, ˈfoʊr-/
noun, Nautical.
a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors.
any sailors' quarters located in the forward part of a vessel, as a deckhouse.
the forward part of the weather deck of a vessel, especially that part forward of the foremast.
Also, fo'c's'le, fo'c'sle.
Origin of forecastle
First recorded in 1300-50, forecastle is from the Middle English word forcastel. See fore-, castle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for forecastle
Historical Examples
  • All the sailors had a kind word for him, and many were the praises which he received in the forecastle.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • The mandate was obeyed, and Bates was lodged in the forecastle, securely ironed.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • The Norman hath a mangonel or a trabuch upon the forecastle.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He was now to be sent into the forecastle, and was ordered to instruct me in my duty.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Being captain of the forecastle, I knew where to find it, and throw it loose at a jerk.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I had got to be first-captain of the forecastle, a berth I held to the end of the cruise.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • After this I got down into the forecastle, and positively refused to do anything more.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • During that time she had been twice on fire in her fore-chains and in her forecastle.

  • Only the blue-faced boy at the bell on the forecastle was on the main-deck.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • On toward the forecastle, where sat the woman alone by the gangway.

    Poems William D. Howells
British Dictionary definitions for forecastle


the part of a vessel at the bow where the crew is quartered and stores, machines, etc, may be stowed
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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Word Origin and History for forecastle

c.1400, earlier Anglo-French forechasteil (mid-14c.), from Middle English fore- "before" + Anglo-French castel "fortified tower," the short raised deck in the fore part of the ship used in warfare (see castle (n.)). Spelling fo'c'sle reflects sailors' pronunciation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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