Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

gunnel1

[guhn-l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any small eellike blenny of the family Pholididae (Pholidae), especially Pholis gunnellus (rock gunnel), common in shallow waters of the North Atlantic.

Origin of gunnel1

First recorded in 1680–90; origin uncertain
Also called bracketed blenny.

gunnel2

[guhn-l]
noun Nautical.
  1. gunwale.

Origin of gunnel2

1425–75; Middle English. See gunwale

gunwale

or gun·nel

[guhn-l]
noun Nautical.
  1. the upper edge of the side or bulwark of a vessel.
  2. the sheer strake of a wooden vessel; the uppermost strake beneath the plank-sheer.

Origin of gunwale

1325–75; Middle English. See gun1, wale1; a plank so called because guns were set upon it
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gunnel

Historical Examples

  • He was on the rope-ladder that dangled down in the air from the gunnel.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Here Lieutenant Gunnel was posted, with seven royal marines as a rear-guard.

    Our Sailors

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • He smiled as he stood on the gunnel, holding on by the main shrouds.

    The Phantom Ship

    Frederick Marryat

  • A man now made his appearance from over the gunnel, at the gangway.

    The Phantom Ship

    Frederick Marryat

  • Soe we are going to lose not only Mr. Clement, but Mr. Gunnel!


British Dictionary definitions for gunnel

gunnel1

noun
  1. any eel-like blennioid fish of the family Pholidae, occurring in coastal regions of northern seasSee also butterfish

Word Origin

C17: of unknown origin

gunnel2

noun
  1. a variant spelling of gunwale

Word Origin

C15: from gun + wale 1 from its use to support guns

gunwale

gunnel

noun
  1. nautical the top of the side of a boat or the topmost plank of a wooden vessel
  2. full to the gunwales completely full; full to overflowing
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

Word Origin and History for gunnel

n.

small marine fish, 1680s, of unknown origin; perhaps from Cornish.

gunwale

n.

mid-15c., gonne walle, from gun (n.) + wale "plank" (see wale). Originally a platform on the deck of a ship to support the mounted guns.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper