in irons

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

in irons

  1. (nautical) The "trapped" condition a sailing ship finds itself in when the bow of the ship is headed into the wind and the ship has stalled and is unable to maneuver.
  2. The state of screw-powered ships which become stalled between crests of waves or swells during a typhoon, for instance, and the ship's rudder does not respond to the commands from the helm, leaving the ship at the mercy of the sea and in danger of capsizing.