verb (used with object)

Nautical. to haul (an offender) under the bottom of a ship and up on the other side as a punishment.
to rebuke severely.

Also keel·hale [keel-heyl] /ˈkil heɪl/.

Origin of keelhaul

From the Dutch word kielhalen, dating back to 1660–70. See keel1, haul
Also called keel·drag [keel-drag] /ˈkilˌdræg/, keel·rake [keel-reyk] /ˈkilˌreɪk/. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for keel-rake


verb (tr)

to drag (a person) by a rope from one side of a vessel to the other through the water under the keel
to rebuke harshly

Word Origin for keelhaul

C17: from Dutch kielhalen; see keel 1, haul
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 keel-rake



1660s (the experience itself is described from 1620s), from Dutch kielhalen, literally "to haul under the keel," an old punishment. See keel (n.) + haul (v.). Related: Keelhauled. German kielholen, Danish kjølhale, Swedish kölhala also are from Dutch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper