Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

grapnel

[grap-nl] /ˈgræp nl/
noun
1.
a device consisting essentially of one or more hooks or clamps, for grasping or holding something; grapple; grappling iron.
2.
a small anchor with three or more flukes, used for grappling or dragging or for anchoring a small boat, as a skiff.
Also called grapeline, graplin, grapline
[grap-lin] /ˈgræp lɪn/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin of grapnel
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English grapnel(l), diminutive of Old French grapin, diminutive of grape hook, grape
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for grapnel
Historical Examples
  • In silence he helped the Capataz to get the grapnel on board.

  • They slept fairly and, at daybreak, got up the grapnel and hoisted the sail again.

  • To my great delight, over came the grapnel, nearly falling on our heads.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
  • We thought we could get over this difficulty by wrapping the grapnel in cotton wool.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
  • Rectus carried the rope, and I had the grapnel, wrapped in its cotton wool.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
  • A grapnel was hove on to the rocks, and there she lay as snug as any on board could desire.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • Tony Weston hauled in the grapnel, and stowed it in the fore-sheets.

    The Boat Club Oliver Optic
  • Just as this distribution was made, the pirates cast their grapnel.

  • That which is bent to the grapnel by which a boat rides, now substituted by chain.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • grapnel,” was the reply; and Vince began to rub the small of his back softly.

    Cormorant Crag George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for grapnel

grapnel

/ˈɡræpnəl/
noun
1.
a device with a multiple hook at one end and attached to a rope, which is thrown or hooked over a firm mooring to secure an object attached to the other end of the rope
2.
a light anchor for small boats
Word Origin
C14: from Old French grapin a little hook, from grape a hook; see grape
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for grapnel
n.

"small hook," late 14c., Anglo-French diminutive of grapon, from Old French grapil, grapin "hook," diminutive of grape "hook" (see grape). Earlier form was grapel (see grapple).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for grapnel

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for grapnel

10
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for grapnel