• synonyms


noun Nautical.
  1. a rope, chain, or rod from the outer end of the bowsprit to the cutwater.
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Origin of bobstay

First recorded in 1750–60; bob1 + stay3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bobstay

Historical Examples of bobstay

  • Iron plates by which the lower end of the bobstay is attached to the stem.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Lowering himself from the port bow into the water, he clung to the bobstay.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman

    Albert Walter Tolman

  • The Kanaka caught the bobstay, climbed over the bow, and crawled aft.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

  • Twice in my life I have had men anchor the boat on the bobstay.

  • You cannot make your bobstay too strong or fasten it too securely.

British Dictionary definitions for bobstay


  1. a strong stay between a bowsprit and the stem of a vessel for holding down the bowsprit
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Word Origin for bobstay

C18: perhaps from bob 1 + stay ³
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