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gunwale Syllabification: gun·wale
Pronunciation: /ˈɡənl/
(also gunnel)

Definition of gunwale in English:


(often gunwales)
The upper edge of the side of a boat or ship.
Example sentences
  • Installation was neat and tidy, cables and steering being run down each side of the boat under respective gunwales and thence into the centre console.
  • There was seating facing inboard along the gunwales of the boat.
  • You never know what quite to expect at boat show product demonstrations, but when someone swings a baseball bat repeatedly into a boat's gunwale, they quickly get everyone's attention.


to the gunwales
informal So as to be almost overflowing: the car is stuffed to the gunwales with camera equipment
More example sentences
  • The houses are never squalid; what they are is crammed to the gunwales with stuff - stuff that's been packed into drawers and cupboards and closets, no rhyme or reason to it, and not an inch of space to spare.
  • Across Europe, gigantic music stores stuffed to the gunwales with American pop, rock and urban do a sideline in hipster books.
  • Once, during a seasonal visit to the store, I watched as a little man struggled with a leviathan of a trolley, stuffed to the gunnels with drink, box after box of it.


Late Middle English: from gun + wale (because it was formerly used to support guns).

Words that rhyme with gunwale

Chunnel, funnel, gunnel, runnel, tunnel
Definition of gunwale in:
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