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.
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How to use windlass in a sentence
The chain communicated with a powerful crane rigged up on the foremast, and was wrought by a steam windlass on deck.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands | R.M. Ballantyne
Newton made no answer, and Jackson went forward, where the remainder of the crew were heaving up the anchor with the windlass.Newton Forster | Captain Frederick Marryat
I will make a windlass as soon as I can, and we will soon hoist out another, like they turn a bucket of water up from a well.The Children of the New Forest | Captain Marryat
The words of these windlass and bowline "shanties" have, of course, little of the element of finished poetry about them.Studies in Folk-Song and Popular Poetry | Alfred M. Williams
Those working the windlass, feeling that the strain was off the rope, let out no more.Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events | S. Baring-Gould
British Dictionary definitions for windlass
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
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