[ bilj ]
/ bɪldʒ /


  1. either of the rounded areas that form the transition between the bottom and the sides on the exterior of a hull.
  2. Also bilges. (in a hull with a double bottom) an enclosed area between frames at each side of the floors, where seepage collects.
  3. Also called bilge well. a well into which seepage drains to be pumped away.
  4. Also called bilge water. seepage accumulated in bilges.
the widest circumference or belly of a cask.

verb (used without object), bilged, bilg·ing.

  1. to leak in the bilge.
  2. (of white paint) to turn yellow.
to bulge or swell out.

verb (used with object), bilged, bilg·ing.

Nautical. to damage (a hull bottom) so as to create an entry for seawater.

Origin of bilge

First recorded in 1505–15; perhaps variant of bulge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bilges

British Dictionary definitions for bilges

/ (bɪldʒ) /



(intr) nautical (of a vessel) to take in water at the bilge
(tr) nautical to damage (a vessel) in the bilge, causing it to leak

Derived forms of bilge

bilgy, adjective

Word Origin for bilge

C16: probably a variant of bulge
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