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[gang-plangk] /ˈgæŋˌplæŋk/
a flat plank or small, movable, bridgelike structure for use by persons boarding or leaving a ship at a pier.
Also called brow, gangway.
Origin of gangplank
An Americanism dating back to 1840-50; gang1 + plank Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gangplank
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here all hands crowded over the gangplank and into the stores.

    A Woman who went to Alaska May Kellogg Sullivan
  • Mr. Rover met the newcomers at the gangplank and made them welcome.

    The Rover Boys on Treasure Isle Edward Stratemeyer (AKA Arthur M. Winfield)
  • Just before the gangplank was drawn in, two persons hastily crossed it.

    The Young Adventurer Horatio Alger
  • Soon they were all on board, the gangplank drawn in, and the ship started.

    Marjorie's Busy Days Carolyn Wells
  • Well, when ye haul in the gangplank, so to speak, I'll be aboard!

  • The next thing they knew they were walking across a gangplank and on to a boat.

    The Irish Twins Lucy Fitch Perkins
  • Franco joined the first mate at the bottom of the gangplank.

    Beyond Lies the Wub Philip Kindred Dick
  • Cap'n Mike led the way down the gangplank with Rick and Scotty following.

    Smugglers' Reef John Blaine
  • I'll have the baggage on board, everything ready; you only have to cross the gangplank.

    Sisters Kathleen Norris
British Dictionary definitions for gangplank


(nautical) a portable bridge for boarding and leaving a vessel at dockside
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 gangplank

1846, American English, from gang + plank. Replacing earlier gang-board.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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