- a device for raising or hauling objects, usually consisting of a horizontal cylinder or barrel turned by a crank, lever, motor, or the like, upon which a cable, rope, or chain winds, the outer end of the cable being attached directly or indirectly to the weight to be raised or the thing to be hauled or pulled; winch.
- to raise, haul, or move (a load) by means of a windlass.
Origin of windlass
Examples from the Web for windlass
We determined, at length, to bring the black to his senses, and I had him seized to the windlass.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
For bending the sides a "Spanish windlass" of rope or chain was used.The Migrations of an American Boat Type
Howard I. Chapelle
Some rest upon their sledges here, some work the windlass there.The Universal Reciter
He always was stubborn as an off ox and cranky as a windlass.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
Into these they drove steel posts and anchored the windlass.Loot of the Void
Edwin K. Sloat
- a machine for raising weights by winding a rope or chain upon a barrel or drum driven by a crank, motor, etc
- (tr) to raise or haul (a weight, etc) by means of a windlass
Word Origin and History for windlass
device for raising weights by winding a rope round a cylinder, c.1400, alteration of wyndase (late 13c.), from Anglo-French windas, and directly from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse vindass, from vinda "to wind" (see wind (v.1)) + ass "pole, beam."