hawser

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English hauser, haucer, from Anglo-Norman haucer, from Old French haucier, halcier (hoister), from Vulgar Latin *altiāre (to raise), from Late Latin altāre (to make high), from Latin altus (high). Altered in English by mistaken association with hawse and perhaps haul. Compare French aussière, haussière.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

hawser (plural hawsers)

  1. (nautical) a cable or heavy rope used to tow or moor a ship
    • 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Ebb-tide Runs”, in Treasure Island, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, OCLC 702939134, part V (My Sea Adventure), page 185:
      The hawser was as taut as a bowstring, and the current so strong she pulled upon her anchor. All around the hull, in the blackness, the rippling current bubbled and chattered like a little mountain stream.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, chapter 26, in Billy Budd[1], London: Constable & Co.:
      A hatchet to my hawser? all adrift to go?

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