[ hawz, haws ]

  1. the part of a bow where the hawseholes are located.

  2. a hawsehole or hawsepipe.

  1. the distance or space between the bow of an anchored vessel and the point on the surface of the water above the anchor.

  2. the relative position or arrangement of the port and starboard anchor cables when both are used to moor a vessel.

verb (used without object),hawsed, haws·ing.
  1. (of a vessel) to pitch heavily at anchor.

Idioms about hawse

  1. to hawse, with both bow anchors out: a ship riding to hawse.

Origin of hawse

before 1000; Middle English hals,Old English heals bow of a ship, literally, neck; cognate with Old Norse hals in same senses, Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old High German hals neck, throat, Latin collus (<*kolsos)

Words Nearby hawse

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hawse in a sentence

  • Little more than an hour before midnight another craft was observed driving down on the hawse of the Gull.

  • A breeze at nightfall fanned her along, and when her killick went down, the rusty chain groaned querulously from her hawse-hole.

    Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
  • Dat's de fines' hawse dat dis chile ebber seen, an' I'se gwan ter watch ober heem lek he wus de apple ob mah eye.

    Frank Merriwell's Races | Burt L. Standish
  • He had given the order to slip the cable, and he could hear the rattle of the chain as it passed out through the hawse-hole.

  • As the anchor came up to the hawse-hole, the jib filled, and the vessel began to move.

    Down the Rhine | Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for hawse


/ (hɔːz) nautical /

  1. the part of the bows of a vessel where the hawseholes are

  2. short for hawsehole, hawsepipe

  1. the distance from the bow of an anchored vessel to the anchor

  2. the arrangement of port and starboard anchor ropes when a vessel is riding on both anchors

  1. (intr) (of a vessel) to pitch violently when at anchor

Origin of hawse

C14: from earlier halse, probably from Old Norse háls; related to Old English heals neck

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