- a fore-and-aft sail on the aftermost lower mast of a sailing vessel having three or more masts.
- a designation given to the mast abaft a mizzenmast, usually the aftermost mast in any vessel.
- Informal. a smartly moving person or animal, especially a fast horse.
- Chiefly New England. something remarkably fine.
- of or relating to a spanker mast or its rigging.
Origin of spanker
First recorded in 1745–55; akin to spanking
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spanker
It was all that was left of Spanker—the stick with which he had been tied.White Fang
The British built at least one sail-propelled battery, the Spanker, in 1794.
As "Dolly" Spanker, my husband, he was inimitable, and brought down the house two or three times during the evening.Recollections of Calcutta for over Half a Century
The writer has many times seen a fellow who travelled the country, nicknamed the Spanker.The Funny Side of Physic
A. D. Crabtre
To become the owner of this old friend again and of his new companions, Spanker and Pony, was a work of necessity.
- nautical a fore-and-aft sail or a mast that is aftermost in a sailing vessel
- informal a person or animal that moves at a quick smart pace
- informal something outstandingly fine or large
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