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[out-rig-er] /ˈaʊtˌrɪg ər/
a framework extended outboard from the side of a boat, especially, as in South Pacific canoes, supporting a float that gives stability.
a bracket extending outward from the side of a racing shell, to support an oarlock.
the shell itself.
a spar rigged out from a ship's rail or the like, as for extending a sail.
a long, flexible rod, attached to a fishing boat near the stern, along which a fishing line may be threaded to keep it clear of the boat's wake when trolling.
a structure extending outward from a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft to increase stability or provide support for something.
a projecting beam, as for supporting a hoisting tackle.
a horizontal steel beam extending the base of a crane.
Origin of outrigger
First recorded in 1740-50; out- + rig + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for outrigger
Historical Examples
  • About seventy outrigger boats of all sizes lie on the beach.

  • Single canoes are not so easily separated from their outrigger.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
  • The larger sort do not require what we may call the outrigger rowlocks.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
  • It has an outrigger; and outrigger, mast, and yard are of bamboo.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
  • Of the two canoes, one is smaller than the other, and the smaller serves by way of an outrigger.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
  • When that outrigger smashed they were a quarter of a length ahead.

    Fred Fenton on the Crew Allen Chapman
  • Had the nerve to say we fouled his boat, and broke that outrigger, Lossing.

    Fred Fenton on the Crew Allen Chapman
  • It is necessary that the outrigger should always be on the windward side.

    The Evolution of Culture Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers
  • This was rigged to run from the spritsail-yard to an outrigger aft.

  • I could not get into an outrigger after seeing the great sculler.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
British Dictionary definitions for outrigger


a framework for supporting a pontoon outside and parallel to the hull of a boat to provide stability
a boat equipped with such a framework, esp one of the canoes of the South Pacific
any projecting framework attached to a boat, aircraft, building, etc, to act as a support
(rowing) another name for rigger (sense 2)
Word Origin
C18: from out- + rig1 + -er1; perhaps influenced by archaic outligger outlier
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 outrigger

device used in Pacific and Indian oceans to stabilize canoes, 1748, altered (by influence of rig) from outligger (late 15c.) "a spar projecting from a vessel," probably from the same root as Dutch uitlegger, literally "out-lyer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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