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.
- Rhymes: -ɔːzə(r)
hawser (plural hawsers)
- (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, London: Constable & Co.:
- A hatchet to my hawser? all adrift to go?