Definition of marlinspike in English:

Share this entry

marlinspike

Pronunciation: /ˈmärlənˌspīk/
(also marlinespike)

noun

A pointed metal tool used by sailors to separate strands of rope or wire, especially in splicing.
Example sentences
  • There's no technobabbling about phased inducers or flux capacitors or what-have-you; the ‘space-ships’ are gorgeously retro, with sails and masts and marlinspikes.
  • A screaming sailor, clad in a sodden loincloth and wielding a marlinspike, leaps at him.
  • This knot is used to temporarily secure a marlinspike, a device used to splice rope, to another object.

Origin

Early 17th century (originally as marling spike): from marling, present participle of marl 'fasten with marline' (from Dutch marlen 'keep binding') + spike1.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mar·lin·spike

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.