Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[yahrd-ahrm] /ˈyɑrdˌɑrm/
noun, Nautical.
either of the outer portions of the yard of a square sail.
Origin of yardarm
First recorded in 1545-55; yard1 + arm1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for yardarm
Historical Examples
  • All very fine; but it was an act of piracy, for which he could have been hanged at the yardarm.

  • Above, along the yardarm and up the ratlines swarmed his bowmen.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • "He'd look remarkably well from a yardarm, sir," returned the captain.

    Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The wind flapped their small sail and the yardarm wobbled badly.

    The Trail of a Sourdough May Kellogg Sullivan
  • If we do not get to Tarragona by four o'clock this afternoon, I will have you hung from the yardarm.

    The White Plumes of Navarre Samuel Rutherford Crockett
  • Arbuthnot was hanged from the yardarm of his own schooner; Ambrister was shot.

    Union and Democracy Allen Johnson
  • It seems that a foremast hand on board the ship which had brought him hither fell from the yardarm into the sea.

    The Story of Malta Maturin M. Ballou
  • A fortnight later Parker swung from the yardarm of that ship.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
  • He was a pirate; and you have only anticipated his suspension at a yardarm.

    The Treasure of Pearls Gustave Aimard
  • If you're Westwood, I can tell you, they'll run ye up to a yardarm, sir!

    The Green Hand George Cupples
British Dictionary definitions for yardarm


(nautical) the two tapering outer ends of a ship's yard
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for yardarm

also yard-arm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for yardarm

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for yardarm

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for yardarm