or rat·lin

[ rat-lin ]

  1. any of the small ropes or lines that traverse the shrouds horizontally and serve as steps for going aloft.

  2. 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< ?

Words Nearby ratline

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ratline in a sentence

  • In walking along her gun-deck, he accidentally ran against a ratline, by which one of her starboard guns was discharged.

  • A piece of small ratline was fixed to the slings, with the handlead made fast to it so that it would sink.

    The Book of the Bush | George Dunderdale
  • A musket-ball carried away a ratline above his head, just as he reached forward.

  • A sailor came slipping down the ratline one night, as though something had happened, and the sailors cried, "What's the matter?"

    The Wedding Ring | T. De Witt Talmage
  • You will soon have furled your last sail, and run up the last ratline, and weathered the last gale, and made the last voyage.

    Around The Tea-Table | T. De Witt Talmage

British Dictionary definitions for ratline



/ (ˈrætlɪn) /

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

Origin of 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