- a block of soft sandstone used in scrubbing the decks of a ship.
- to scrub with a holystone.
Origin of holystone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for holystone
If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it away.A Mark Twain Christmas Story
The Daily Beast
December 24, 2009
We'll holystone 'em an' slush 'em with hot tar if they give any trouble!The Outdoor Girls at Ocean View
Laura Lee Hope
My head was like to burst, and my tongue was like a lump of holystone in my mouth.Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood
I need scarcely explain that holystone is a large soft stone, used with water, for scrubbing the dirt off the ship's decks.
On deck, the men began to holystone the planks, polish up the brasswork, and make everything shipshape for port.
The Malay swung aside; the holystone crunched into the sack of eggs and slid to earth.Cursed
George Allan England
- a soft sandstone used for scrubbing the decks of a vessel
- (tr) to scrub (a vessel's decks) with a holystone
C19: perhaps so named from its being used in a kneeling position
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 holystone
soft sandstone used to scrub decks of sailing ships, 1777, despite the spelling, so called perhaps because it is full of holes. As a verb, by 1828.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper