What does windlass mean?

Definitions for windlass
ˈwɪnd ləswind·lass

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word windlass.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. winch, windlassnoun

    lifting device consisting of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank on which a cable or rope winds


  1. windlassnoun

    Any of various forms of winch, in which a rope or cable is wound around a cylinder, used for lifting heavy weights

    Etymology: windels or windas, vindass, from vinda + ass. Confer Icelandic vindilass.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Windlassnoun

    a winding and circuitous way; a roundabout course; a shift

    Etymology: [Perhaps from wind to turn + lace.]

  2. Windlassverb

    to take a roundabout course; to work warily or by indirect means

    Etymology: [Perhaps from wind to turn + lace.]

  3. Windlassnoun

    a machine for raising weights, consisting of a horizontal cylinder or roller moving on its axis, and turned by a crank, lever, or similar means, so as to wind up a rope or chain attached to the weight. In vessels the windlass is often used instead of the capstan for raising the anchor. It is usually set upon the forecastle, and is worked by hand or steam

    Etymology: [Perhaps from wind to turn + lace.]

  4. Windlassnoun

    an apparatus resembling a winch or windlass, for bending the bow of an arblast, or crossbow

    Etymology: [Perhaps from wind to turn + lace.]

  5. Windlass

    to raise with, or as with, a windlass; to use a windlass

    Etymology: [Perhaps from wind to turn + lace.]


  1. Windlass

    The windlass is an apparatus for moving heavy weights. Typically, a windlass consists of a horizontal cylinder, which is rotated by the turn of a crank or belt. A winch is affixed to one or both ends, and a cable or rope is wound around the winch, pulling a weight attached to the opposite end.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Windlass

    wind′las, n. a modification of the wheel and axle, used for raising weights, consisting of a revolving cylinder.—v.i. to use a windlass.—v.t. to hoist by means of such. [Skeat explains as a corruption, due to confusion with the succeeding word, of M. E. windas, a windlass—Ice. vindássvinda, to wind; Dut. windas.]

  2. Windlass

    wind′las, n. (Shak.) indirect, crafty action.—v.i. to take a round-about course. [For wind-lace, a winding course; from wind (n.) and lace, a twist.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. windlass

    [from the Ang.-Sax. windles]. A machine erected in the fore-part of a ship which serves to ride by, as well as heave in the cable. It is composed of the carrick-heads or windlass-heads, which are secured to all the deck-beams beneath, and backed by long sleeper knees on deck. The main-piece is whelped like the capstan, and suspended at its ends by powerful spindles falling into metal bearings in the carrick or windlass heads. Amidships it is supported by chocks, where it is also furnished with a course of windlass-pawls, four taking at separate angles on a main ratchet, and bearing on one quadrant of the circumference. The cables have three turns round this main-piece (one cable on each side): holes are cut for the windlass-bars in each eighth of the squared sides. The windlass may be said also to be supported or reinforced by the pawl-bitts, two powerful bitt-heads at the centre.--Spanish windlass. A machine formed of a handspike and a small lever, usually a tree-nail, or a tree-nail and a marline-spike, to set up the top-gallant rigging, heave in seizings, or for any other short steady purchase.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. windlass

    An axis, or roller of wood, square at each end, through which are either cross-holes for handspikes, or staves across, to turn it round, by which operation it draws a rope, one end of which is attached to a weight, which is thus raised from any depth.

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How to pronounce windlass?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say windlass in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of windlass in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of windlass in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Images & Illustrations of windlass

  1. windlasswindlasswindlasswindlasswindlass

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    marked by sudden changes in subject and sharp transitions
    • A. brilliant
    • B. dangerous
    • C. abrupt
    • D. tight

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