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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English cokswain; equivalent to cock (a boat) + swain; hence, the master of a boat.



coxswain (plural coxswains)

  1. In a ship's boat, the helmsman given charge of the boat's crew.
  2. In a rowing crew, the member who steers the shell and coordinates the power and rhythm of the rowers.
  3. (archaic) The second or third mate of a vessel, in charge of the master's barge.
  4. (naval) A rank or position.
    1. Canadian Navy Coxswain (or Capitaine d'Armes) is the senior non-commissioned officer aboard a ship
    2. British Royal Navy Cadets Cadet Coxswain is the highest normal rank which may be achieved.



coxswain (third-person singular simple present coxswains, present participle coxswaining, simple past and past participle coxswained)

  1. (transitive) To act as coxswain for.
    to coxswain a college rowing team