[boh-suh n; spelling pronunciation boht-sweyn]
- a warrant officer on a warship, or a petty officer on a merchant vessel, in charge of rigging, anchors, cables, etc.
Origin of boatswain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for boatswain
"He's hurt in the arm, sir, and he's gone below," said the boatswain.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
There was a regular hard horse of a boatswain's-mate with us, of the name of McNally.
He then ordered the boatswain to call all hands aft, to the break of the quarter-deck.
I dare not do it, Boatswain; it's more than my life is worth.
You seem to be converted to that belief, for you have a brace of them, as the Boatswain says.
bosun or bo's'n
- a petty officer on a merchant ship or a warrant officer on a warship who is responsible for the maintenance of the ship and its equipment
Old English bātswegen; see boat, swain
Word Origin and History for boatswain
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper