[ keel-hawl ]

verb (used with object)
  1. Nautical. to haul (an offender) under the bottom of a ship and up on the other side as a punishment.

  2. to rebuke severely.

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

Words Nearby keelhaul Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use keelhaul in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for keelhaul


/ (ˈkiːlˌhɔːl) /

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

  2. to rebuke harshly

Origin of 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