[haw-zer, -ser]

noun Nautical.

a heavy rope for mooring or towing.

Origin of hawser

1300–50; Middle English haucer < Anglo-French hauceour, equivalent to Middle French hauci(er) to hoist (< Late Latin *altiāre to raise, derivative of Latin altus high; see haughty) + -our -or2, -er2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hawser

Historical Examples of hawser

  • The men there, attach the hawser to the whip, and by hauling one side thereof in, they run the other side and the hawser out.

    Battles with the Sea

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • An anchor was let fall astern, and the whole ship's company hauled in on the hawser, swinging the ship slowly around.

  • As the ship drifts well to leeward, the hawser will bring her stern to the wind; but it may not cast her on the other side.

    The Seaman's Friend

    Richard Henry Dana

  • We were fifty feet from that rock when the hawser was made fast and had a strain on it, and now it's right under her stern.

    A Modern Buccaneer

    Rolf Boldrewood

  • Even then, we who watched him thought he would stick fast between the boat and the bank, that the hawser would hold him.

    The Congo and Coasts of Africa

    Richard Harding Davis

British Dictionary definitions for hawser



nautical a large heavy rope

Word Origin for hawser

C14: from Anglo-French hauceour, from Old French haucier to hoist, ultimately from Latin altus high
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 hawser

"large rope used for mooring, towing, etc.," late 13c., from Anglo-French haucer, from Old French halcier, haucier, literally "hoister," from Vulgar Latin *altiare, alteration of Late Latin altare "make high," from altus "high" (see old). Altered in English on mistaken association with hawse and perhaps haul.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper