sponson

[spon-suh n]
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noun

a structure projecting from the side or main deck of a vessel to support a gun or the outer edge of a paddle box.
a buoyant appendage at the gunwale of a canoe to resist capsizing.
Aeronautics. a protuberance at the side of a flying-boat hull, designed to increase lateral stability in the water.

Origin of sponson

First recorded in 1825–35; variant of expansion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sponson

Historical Examples of sponson

  • There he lay, along one side of the tank between the engine and the sponson.

    Life in a Tank

    Richard Haigh

  • McKnutt signalled to him, and he opened fire from his sponson.

    Life in a Tank

    Richard Haigh

  • A bomb exploded directly beneath the sponson, where the dead body had fallen.

    Life in a Tank

    Richard Haigh

  • His tun of a torso bulged roundly out in front of me like the sponson of a battleship.

    Yellowstone Nights

    Herbert Quick

  • An eager gunner endeavoured to pass one of the tanks, but his gun caught the sponson and slipped off into the mud.

    A Company of Tanks

    W. H. L. Watson



British Dictionary definitions for sponson

sponson

noun

navy an outboard support for a gun enabling it to fire fore and aft
a semicircular gun turret on the side of a tank
a float or flotation chamber along the gunwale of a boat or ship
a structural projection from the side of a paddle steamer for supporting a paddle wheel
a structural unit attached to a helicopter fuselage by fixed struts, housing the main landing gear and inflatable flotation bags

Word Origin for sponson

C19: perhaps from expansion
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