fife rail


noun Nautical.

a rail surrounding or next to the mast of a sailing vessel for use in holding the pins to which some of the running rigging is belayed.

Compare pin rail.

Origin of fife rail

First recorded in 1715–25 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fife rail

Historical Examples of fife rail

  • I saw him cry to his own men and then to Mr. Pike ere he fled to the fife-rail.

  • Mr. Pike pitched him into the fife-rail, and returned for the last man.

  • As the water on the deck subsided the men on the fife-rail left their refuge.

  • A name applied to the fife-rail pins, also called Tack-pins.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Half of a fife-rail had been shot through the foresail, and the sky made a patch of glorious blue in the ignobly soiled canvas.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for fife rail

fife rail


nautical a rail at the base of a mast of a sailing vessel, fitted with pins for belaying running riggingCompare pin rail

Word Origin for fife rail

C18: of unknown origin
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