/ (ˈbɪlbəʊz) /

pl n
  1. a long iron bar with two sliding shackles, formerly used to confine the ankles of a prisoner

Origin of bilboes

C16: perhaps changed from Bilbao

Words Nearby bilboes

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

How to use bilboes in a sentence

  • I've got the bridge right ahead, and the bilboes dead aft: I calls that good steerage, boy.

    The Pioneers | James Fenimore Cooper
  • Then, if we do not obey their foolish rules, they nab us when we come into port again, and fine us—perhaps put us in the bilboes.

    Dulcibel | Henry Peterson
  • Whether the Spanish Armada story is true or not, bilboes were certainly much used on board ship.

  • The next year another Newe-towne man, being penitent, Henry Bright, was set in the bilboes for “swearynge.”

  • He also suffered in the bilboes for cursing, for “prophane saying dam ye come.”