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[moo r-ing] /ˈmʊər ɪŋ/
the act of a person or thing that moors.
Usually, moorings. the means by which a ship, boat, or aircraft is moored.
moorings, a place where a ship, boat, or aircraft may be moored.
Usually, moorings. one's stability or security:
After the death of his wife he lost his moorings.
Origin of mooring
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; compare Middle Dutch moor; see moor2, -ing1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for moorings
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Pancks opened the door for him, towed him in, and retired to his own moorings in a corner.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Throw off your moorings, then, and clap on sail, for we must go.'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Heave the hussy up to her anchor, Mr. Leach, when we will cast an eye to her moorings.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • The ship had just loosed her moorings, and was gliding out to sea.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete Madame La Marquise De Montespan
  • When the Bovista ripens it breaks from its moorings and is blown about by the wind.

  • He looked for the lobster car, which should have been floating at its moorings, but could not see it.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "There he is, on the quay, looking at the moorings," says one of the youngsters as he skipped past me.

    Tales Of Hearsay Joseph Conrad
  • I told the dockman at our moorings to keep all fast for a minute.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for moorings


/ˈmʊərɪŋz; ˈmɔː-/
plural noun
(nautical) the ropes, anchors, etc, used in mooring a vessel
(sometimes sing) something that provides security or stability


/ˈmʊərɪŋ; ˈmɔː-/
a place for mooring a vessel
a permanent anchor, dropped in the water and equipped with a floating buoy, to which vessels can moor
See also moorings
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 moorings

1744, "ropes, etc., by which a floating thing is made fast," from mooring. Figurative sense is from 1851.



"place where a vessel can be moored," early 15c., "process of making a ship secure," verbal noun from moor (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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