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[reev] /riv/
verb (used with object), rove or reeved, roven or reeved, reeving. Nautical.
to pass (a rope or the like) through a hole, ring, or the like.
to fasten by placing through or around something.
to pass a rope through (the swallow of a block).
Origin of reeve2
1620-30; < Dutch reven to reef; see reef2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reeved
Historical Examples
  • It was reeved through an iron ring that jutted from the stone.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • Ropes were reeved through pulleys in the ceiling, for raising the wire-ball device to permit entrance.

    The Affair of the Brains Anthony Gilmore
  • Did they have something with them, reeved up in a hammock—something that smelled sweet?

  • While all this was going on a deckhand had reeved a block and tackle through the end of the cargo gaff and passed it to the winch.

    Captain Scraggs Peter B. Kyne
  • We now reeved our ropes and rigged our ship the best we could, every man working as if to save our lives in the utmost extremity.

  • Lazos had been reeved over the limbs of the pecan, and with these all six had been jerked up without shrift or prayer!

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • Then they were unbent from the cleats, and reeved together to make a long tow line.

    The Motor Boys Afloat Clarence Young
  • This was reeved through a single pulley–block, making what is termed an endless line.

    Fighting the Sea Edward A. Rand
  • The ensign haulyards are reeved through a small block at the peak end, and lead down to the boom.

  • Handily Joe reeved a purchase and they hauled away until their raft slid off the sloping deck to leeward.

    Blackbeard: Buccaneer Ralph D. Paine
British Dictionary definitions for reeved


(English history) the local representative of the king in a shire (under the ealdorman) until the early 11th century Compare sheriff
(in medieval England) a manorial steward who supervised the daily affairs of the manor: often a villein elected by his fellows
(government:Canada) (in certain provinces) a president of a local council, esp in a rural area
(formerly) a minor local official in any of several parts of England and the US
Word Origin
Old English gerēva; related to Old High German ruova number, array


verb (transitive) (nautical) reeves, reeving, reeved, rove (rəʊv)
to pass (a rope or cable) through an eye or other narrow opening
to fasten by passing through or around something
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from Dutch rēvenreef²


the female of the ruff (the bird)
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin
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 reeved



"steward," Old English gerefa "king's officer," of unknown origin and with no known cognates. Not connected to German Graf (see margrave). An Anglo-Saxon official of high rank, having local jurisdiction under a king. Cf. sheriff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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