or gun·nel


noun Nautical.

the upper edge of the side or bulwark of a vessel.
the sheer strake of a wooden vessel; the uppermost strake beneath the plank-sheer.

Nearby words

  1. gunter rig,
  2. gunter's chain,
  3. gunter, edmund,
  4. gunther,
  5. guntur,
  6. gunyah,
  7. guo moruo,
  8. guppy,
  9. gupta,
  10. gur

Origin of gunwale

1325–75; Middle English. See gun1, wale1; a plank so called because guns were set upon it Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gunwale

British Dictionary definitions for gunwale




nautical the top of the side of a boat or the topmost plank of a wooden vessel
full to the gunwales completely full; full to overflowing
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 gunwale



mid-15c., gonne walle, from gun (n.) + wale "plank" (see wale). Originally a platform on the deck of a ship to support the mounted guns.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper