- a skein, as of thread or yarn.
- a definite length of thread or yarn: A hank of cotton yarn measures 840 yards.
- a coil, knot, or loop: a hank of hair.
- Nautical. a ring, link, or shackle for securing the luff of a staysail or jib to its stay or the luff or head of a gaff sail to the mast or gaff.
- Nautical. to fasten (a sail) by means of hanks.
Origin of hank
1175–1225; Middle English < Old Norse hǫnk hank, coil, skein, clasp; akin to hang
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a loop, coil, or skein, as of rope, wool, or yarn
- nautical a ringlike fitting that can be opened to admit a stay for attaching the luff of a sail
- a unit of measurement of cloth, yarn, etc, such as a length of 840 yards (767 m) of cotton or 560 yards (512 m) of worsted yarn
- (tr) nautical to attach (a sail) to a stay by hanks
C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse hanka to coil, Swedish hank string
Word Origin and History for hanking
late 13c., probably from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse honk, hank "clasp, hank," related to hang (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper