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binnacle

1

[ bin-uh-kuhl ]

noun

, Nautical.
  1. a stand or enclosure of wood or nonmagnetic metal for supporting and housing a compass.


binnacle

2

[ bin-uh-kuhl ]

New York State Older Use.
  1. a side branch of a river; millrace.

binnacle

/ ˈbɪnəkəl /

noun

  1. a housing for a ship's compass


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Word History and Origins

Origin of binnacle1

1615–25; bin + ( bitt ) acle ( late Middle English bitakille ) < Portuguese bitacola < Latin habitāculum lodge, equivalent to habitā- ( inhabit ) + -culum -cule 2

Origin of binnacle2

1855–60, Americanism; probably folk-etymological spelling of New York Dutch *binnekil, equivalent to Dutch binne ( n ) inner, interior ( ben 1 ) + kil channel; kill 2
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Word History and Origins

Origin of binnacle1

C17: changed from C15 bitakle , from Portuguese bitácula , from Late Latin habitāculum dwelling-place, from Latin habitāre to inhabit; spelling influenced by bin
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Example Sentences

The bulwarks, boats, and binnacle were carried clean off, and the mainmast had to be cut away.

Ralph walked back to where Mr. Duff was standing at the binnacle, conning the ship.

As he spoke, he drew out a letter and handed it to him; and Tony, stooping down beside the binnacle light, read it over twice.

He stripped up his sleeve and held his arm across the radiance of the binnacle light.

It was snowing by now and the flakes could be seen driving athwart the ship in the light of the skylights and the binnacle.

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