a block having no sheave or other part rolling with the movement of a line.
a groove in a spar or other timber, through which a rope can slide.
The Good And The Bad: Words That Can’t ChooseIn the 1700s, nice took on a very agreeable meaning, one that stuck. But, its earlier definitions were quite the opposite.
Origin of dumb sheave
First recorded in 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019