or rat·lin

[ rat-lin ]
/ ˈræt lɪn /

noun Nautical.

any of the small ropes or lines that traverse the shrouds horizontally and serve as steps for going aloft.
Also ratline stuff. three-stranded, right-laid, tarred hemp stuff of from 6 to 24 threads, used for ratlines, lashings, etc.

Origin of ratline

First recorded in 1475–85; earlier ratling, radelyng < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for ratline



/ (ˈrætlɪn) /


nautical any of a series of light lines tied across the shrouds of a sailing vessel for climbing aloft

Word Origin for ratline

C15: of unknown origin
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