[ dav-it, dey-vit ]
/ ˈdæv ɪt, ˈdeɪ vɪt /


any of various cranelike devices used singly or in pairs for supporting, raising, and lowering especially boats, anchors, and cargo over a hatchway or side of a ship.

Nearby words

  1. davis, richard harding,
  2. davis, stuart,
  3. davisson,
  4. davisson, clinton joseph,
  5. davisson-germer experiment,
  6. davos,
  7. davout,
  8. davout, louis nicolas,
  9. davy,
  10. davy jones

Origin of davit

1325–75; Middle English daviot < Anglo-French, apparently diminutive of Davi David

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for davit

British Dictionary definitions for davit


/ (ˈdævɪt, ˈdeɪ-) /


a cranelike device, usually one of a pair, fitted with a tackle for suspending or lowering equipment, esp a lifeboat

Word Origin for davit

C14: from Anglo-French daviot, diminutive of Davi David

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

Word Origin and History for davit



also david, "crane-like structure used to lower things off a ship, etc.," late 15c., apparently a use of the masc. proper name David on the pattern of applying common Christian names to useful devices (cf. jack, jenny, jimmy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper