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An anchor (nautical).

Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English anker, from Old English ancor, ancra, from Latin ancora, from (or cognate with) Ancient Greek ἄγκυρα (ánkura). The modern form is a sixteenth-century modification after the Medieval Latin spelling anchora.


anchor (plural anchors)

  1. (nautical) A tool used to moor a vessel to the bottom of a sea or river to resist movement.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter X, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      Men that I knew around Wapatomac didn't wear high, shiny plug hats, nor yeller spring overcoats, nor carry canes with ivory heads as big as a catboat's anchor, as you might say.
  2. (nautical) An iron device so shaped as to grip the bottom and hold a vessel at her berth by the chain or rope attached. (FM 55-501).
  3. (nautical) The combined anchoring gear (anchor, rode, bill/peak and fittings such as bitts, cat, and windlass.)
  4. (heraldry) Representation of the nautical tool, used as a heraldic charge.
  5. Any instrument serving a purpose like that of a ship's anchor, such as an arrangement of timber to hold a dam fast; a device to hold the end of a bridge cable etc.; or a device used in metalworking to hold the core of a mould in place.
  6. (Internet) A marked point in a document that can be the target of a hyperlink.
  7. (television) An anchorman or anchorwoman.
    • 2022 March 17, Aditya Chakrabortty, “Western values? They enthroned the monster who is shelling Ukrainians today”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Condoleezza Rice pops up on Fox to be told by the anchor: “When you invade a sovereign nation, that is a war crime.”
  8. (athletics) The final runner in a relay race.
  9. (archery) A point that is touched by the draw hand or string when the bow is fully drawn and ready to shoot.
  10. (economics) A superstore or other facility that serves as a focus to bring customers into an area.
    Synonym: anchor tenant
    • 2006, Planning: For the Natural and Built Environment, numbers 1650-1666, page 15:
      Supermarkets have also had to adjust. Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda have put a much greater emphasis on developing smaller high street stores or becoming anchors for mixed-used regeneration schemes []
    • 2007, A. Sivakumar, Retail Marketing, page 102:
      However, mall developers offer huge discounts to department stores because these anchors create traffic []
  11. (figurative) That which gives stability or security.
  12. (architecture) A metal tie holding adjoining parts of a building together.
  13. (US) A screw anchor.
  14. (architecture) Carved work, somewhat resembling an anchor or arrowhead; part of the ornaments of certain mouldings. It is seen in the echinus, or egg-and-anchor (called also egg-and-dart, egg-and-tongue) ornament.
  15. One of the anchor-shaped spicules of certain sponges.
  16. One of the calcareous spinules of certain holothurians, as in species of Synapta.
  17. (cartomancy) The thirty-fifth Lenormand card.
  18. (obsolete) An anchorite or anchoress.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light, / Sport and repose lock from me day and night, / To desperation turn my trust and hope, / An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope.
  19. (slang) The brake of a vehicle.
    • 1967, Terry Carr, New Worlds of Fantasy, Ace Books, page 56:
      I saw Tim look back through the rear window of the cab and prayed he wouldn't do the first thing that came into his mind and step on the anchors.
    • 2005, urban legend, The Wordsworth Book of Urban Legend, Wordsworth Editions, page 150:
      [Police:] ‘… when we blow the horn, you do an emergency stop.’ So the foaf did as he was bid and, hearing an almighty horn blast stepped on the anchors. There was a most tremendous crash as the Police car ran into the back of his Austin.
    • 2008, Gavin Haines, “Wheels on fire”, in Bournemouth Daily Echo:
      “Brake, brake, brake! You need to scrub off more speed before you enter the corner,” he explained, as I took his advice and jumped on the anchors.
  20. (soccer) A defensive player, especially one who counters the opposition's best offensive player.
    • 2021 March 31, Phil McNulty, “England 2-1 Poland: What shape are Gareth Southgate's side in?”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      Phil Foden once again demonstrated his pedigree and will push for a start, while Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips will hope he has done enough to get a chance as a defensive midfield anchor if Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson fails to recover full fitness after groin surgery.
  21. (climbing) A device for attaching a climber at the top of a climb, such as a chain or ring or a natural feature.
Usage notes[edit]

Formerly a vessel would differentiate amongst the anchors carried as waist anchor, best bower, bower, stream and kedge anchors, depending on purpose and, to a great extent, on mass and size of the anchor. Modern usage is storm anchor for the heaviest anchor with the longest rode, best bower or simply bower for the most commonly used anchor deployed from the bow, and stream or lunch hook for a small, light anchor used for temporary moorage and often deployed from the stern.


(television): anchorwoman, anchoress

Derived terms[edit]
  • Chuukese: angko
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English anchoren, ankeren, either from the noun or perhaps (via Old French ancrer)[1] from a Medieval Latin verb ancorare, from the same Latin word ancora.


anchor (third-person singular simple present anchors, present participle anchoring, simple past and past participle anchored)

  1. To connect an object, especially a ship or a boat, to a fixed point.
  2. To cast anchor; to come to anchor.
    Our ship (or the captain) anchored in the stream.
  3. To stop; to fix or rest.
  4. To provide emotional stability for a person in distress.
  5. To perform as an anchorman or anchorwoman.
  6. To be stuck; to be unable to move away from a position.
    • 2017 March 14, Stuart James, “Leicester stun Sevilla to reach last eight after Kasper Schmeichel save”, in the Guardian[3]:
      It is an incredible tale and one that makes no sense on so many levels. Only two years ago Leicester were anchored to the foot of the Premier League and staring at the prospect of relegation to the Championship under Nigel Pearson.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Alternative forms.


anchor (plural anchors)

  1. Alternative form of anker


  1. ^ ankeren, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.




Compare anchu.


anchor m (plural anchores)

  1. width


Related terms[edit]



From an- (bad, unnatural) +‎ cor (turn) (compare droch-chor (bad turn; unfortunate happening, ill plight)).


anchor m (genitive singular anchoir)

  1. ill-treatment



Irish mutation
Radical Eclipsis with h-prothesis with t-prothesis
anchor n-anchor hanchor t-anchor
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]



From ancho +‎ -or.


  • IPA(key): /anˈt͡ʃoɾ/ [ãnʲˈt͡ʃoɾ]
  • Rhymes: -oɾ
  • Syllabification: an‧chor


anchor m (plural anchores)

  1. (rare) width
    Synonyms: anchura, ancho

Further reading[edit]