[ fohk-suh l, fawr-kas-uh l, -kah-suh l, fohr- ]
/ ˈfoʊk səl, ˈfɔrˌkæs əl, -ˌkɑ səl, ˈfoʊr- /

noun Nautical.

a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors.
any sailors' quarters located in the forward part of a vessel, as a deckhouse.
the forward part of the weather deck of a vessel, especially that part forward of the foremast.

Nearby words

  1. forebody,
  2. forebrain,
  3. forecaddie,
  4. forecast,
  5. forecaster,
  6. forecastle deck,
  7. forecastle head,
  8. forechoir,
  9. forecited,
  10. foreclose

Also fo'c's'le, fo'c'sle.

Origin of forecastle

First recorded in 1300–50, forecastle is from the Middle English word forcastel. See fore-, castle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forecastle

British Dictionary definitions for forecastle


fo'c's'le or fo'c'sle

/ (ˈfəʊksəl) /


the part of a vessel at the bow where the crew is quartered and stores, machines, etc, may be stowed
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 forecastle



c.1400, earlier Anglo-French forechasteil (mid-14c.), from Middle English fore- "before" + Anglo-French castel "fortified tower," the short raised deck in the fore part of the ship used in warfare (see castle (n.)). Spelling fo'c'sle reflects sailors' pronunciation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper