sheet anchor


Nautical. a large anchor used only in cases of emergency.
a final reliance or resource, as when in danger.

Origin of sheet anchor

First recorded in 1485–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sheet anchor

Historical Examples of sheet anchor

  • He clung to all three, he grappled them to him; they were his sheet-anchor and his pole-star.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • We should be in a sweet quandary if anything happened to our sheet-anchor here.


    Louisa M. Alcott

  • The belief which had been her sheet-anchor in hoping for forgiveness had proved false.

  • To those who had been with him before he was like a sheet-anchor in a storm.

    Charles Frohman: Manager and Man

    Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman

  • His Irish experience continued to be the sheet-anchor of his ascendency with the Queen.

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    William Stebbing

British Dictionary definitions for sheet anchor

sheet anchor


nautical a large strong anchor for use in emergency
a person or thing to be relied upon in an emergency

Word Origin for sheet anchor

C17: from earlier shute anker, from shoot (obsolete) the sheet of a sail
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