sea anchor

noun Nautical.

any of various devices, as a drogue, that have great resistance to being pulled through the water and are dropped forward of a vessel at the end of a cable to hold the bow into the wind or sea during a storm.

Origin of sea anchor

First recorded in 1760–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sea anchor

anchor, bower, drogue

Examples from the Web for sea anchor

Historical Examples of sea anchor

  • We had a tripping line on it, so we tripped the sea-anchor and hauled it in.

  • That sea-anchor is overboard, and we're able to keep fairly clear of water.

  • At daylight we found our sea-anchor and the rudder had both gone.

    The Fleets Behind the Fleet

    W. MacNeile (William MacNeile) Dixon

  • Within the hour all canvas had to be furled and the sea-anchor streamed.

    The Messenger

    Elizabeth Robins

  • The heavy painter had been lost when the sea-anchor went adrift.


    Sir Ernest Shackleton

British Dictionary definitions for sea anchor

sea anchor


nautical any device, such as a bucket or canvas funnel, dragged in the water to keep a vessel heading into the wind or reduce drifting
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