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marlinespike

[mahr-lin-spahyk]
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noun Nautical.
  1. a pointed iron implement used in separating the strands of rope in splicing, marling, etc.
Also mar·lin·spike, mar·ling·spike [mahr-ling-spahyk] /ˈmɑr lɪŋˌspaɪk/.

Origin of marlinespike

1620–30; orig. marling spike. See marl2, -ing1, spike1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for marlinspike

marlinespike

marlinspike less commonly marlingspike (ˈmɑːlɪŋˌspaɪk)

noun
  1. nautical a pointed metal tool used as a fid, spike, and for various other purposes
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 marlinspike

n.

"pointed iron tool used by sailors to separate strands of rope," 1620s, from spike (n.) + Middle Dutch marlijn "small cord," from marlen "to fasten or secure (a sail)," probably frequentative of Middle Dutch maren "to tie, moor" (see moor (v.)). Influenced in Dutch by Dutch lijn "line" (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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