• synonyms


  1. Also called bollard. a strong post of wood or iron projecting, usually in pairs, above the deck of a ship, used for securing cables, lines for towing, etc.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to wrap (a cable) around a bitt to secure it.
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Origin of bitt

Middle English, perhaps < Dutch or Low German; compare Dutch, Low German beting, in same sense, akin to Middle High German bizze wooden peg, Old Norse biti crossbeam
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bitt

Historical Examples

  • A small silver coin of the West Indies, six of which make a bitt.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The bitt for the bowsprit to be stepped in runs through the deck and into the keelson.

  • The hawser had but just been loosened from the bitt when the drag of the waters began.

    A Runaway Brig;

    James Otis

  • Keep one turn round the bitt, and heave in on it when the painter slacks.

  • Bitt′ers, a liquid prepared from bitter herbs or roots, and used as a stomachic.

British Dictionary definitions for bitt


  1. one of a pair of strong posts on the deck of a ship for securing mooring and other lines
  2. another word for bollard (def. 1)
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  1. (tr) to secure (a line) by means of a bitt
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Word Origin

C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse biti cross beam, Middle High German bizze wooden peg
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