Middle English windels or windas, From Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French windas, Old Norse vindass, from vinda (“to wind”) + ass (“pole”). Confer Icelandic vindilass.
windlass (plural windlasses)
- Any of various forms of winch, in which a rope or cable is wound around a cylinder, used for lifting heavy weights
- A winding and circuitous way; a roundabout course.
- An apparatus resembling a winch or windlass, for bending the bow of an arblast, or crossbow.
windlass (third-person singular simple present windlasses, present participle windlassing, simple past and past participle windlassed)
- To raise with, or as if with, a windlass; to use a windlass.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of The Century to this entry?)
- To take a roundabout course; to work warily or by indirect means.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Hammond to this entry?)