verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


    at anchor, held in place by an anchor: The luxury liner is at anchor in the harbor.
    drag anchor, (of a vessel) to move with a current or wind because an anchor has failed to hold.
    drop anchor, to anchor a vessel: They dropped anchor in a bay to escape the storm.
    weigh anchor, to raise the anchor: We will weigh anchor at dawn.

Origin of anchor

before 900; Middle English anker, ancre, Old English ancor, ancer, ancra (compare Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Middle Low German anker) < Latin anc(h)ora < Greek ánkȳra
Related formsan·chor·a·ble, adjectivean·chor·less, adjectivean·chor·like, adjectivere·an·chor, verbun·an·chored, adjectivewell-an·chored, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for anchoring

secure, dock, fix, attach, moor, fasten, plant, drop, berth, stay, catch, tie, imbed

Examples from the Web for anchoring

Contemporary Examples of anchoring

Historical Examples of anchoring

  • What was their motive in anchoring the Minnie B in the middle of the Sargasso?

  • On that Wolverstone turned to give his attention to the operation of anchoring.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Under it, and anchoring it, was a concrete wall all around the city.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • On the day after their anchoring, a large canoe put off from the mainland.

  • On her anchoring in the Bay of Good Success, several of the party went on shore.

    Captain Cook

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for anchoring



any of several devices, usually of steel, attached to a vessel by a cable and dropped overboard so as to grip the bottom and restrict the vessel's movement
an object used to hold something else firmly in placethe rock provided an anchor for the rope
a source of stability or securityreligion was his anchor
  1. a metal cramp, bolt, or similar fitting, esp one used to make a connection to masonry
  2. (as modifier)anchor bolt; anchor plate
  1. the rear person in a tug-of-war team
  2. short for anchorman, anchorwoman
at anchor (of a vessel) anchored
cast anchor, come to anchor or drop anchor to anchor a vessel
drag anchor See drag (def. 13)
ride at anchor to be anchored
weigh anchor to raise a vessel's anchor or (of a vessel) to have its anchor raised in preparation for departure


to use an anchor to hold (a vessel) in one place
to fasten or be fastened securely; fix or become fixed firmly
(tr) radio television to act as an anchorman on
See also anchors

Word Origin for anchor

Old English ancor, from Latin ancora, from Greek ankura; related to Greek ankos bend; compare Latin uncus bent, hooked
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

Word Origin and History for anchoring



Old English ancor, borrowed 9c. from Latin ancora "anchor," from or cognate with Greek ankyra "anchor, hook" (see ankle). A very early borrowing and said to be the only Latin nautical term used in the Germanic languages. The -ch- form emerged late 16c., a pedantic imitation of a corrupt spelling of the Latin word. The figurative sense of "that which gives stability or security" is from late 14c. Meaning "host or presenter of a TV or radio program" is from 1965, short for anchorman.



c.1200, from anchor (n.). Related: Anchored; anchoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper