• synonyms


[haw-zer, -ser]
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noun Nautical.
  1. a heavy rope for mooring or towing.
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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. 2018

Related Words for hawser

twine, string, thread, tape, cable, strand, lariat, lace, lanyard, lasso, cordage, hawser

Examples from the Web for hawser

Historical Examples of hawser

  • He knew besides such words as "hawser," "bulkhead" and "ebb-tide."

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Whether any saved themselves on it, the two clinging to the hawser could not see.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • At the other end was a hawser which the boat now towed towards the rock.

  • Leaping on to it, the boatswain and Lizard made fast the hawser.

  • The brave mate was seen to cling to the hawser, and work his way back.

British Dictionary definitions for hawser


  1. nautical a large heavy rope
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper