Definition of winch in English:

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Pronunciation: /win(t)SH/


Image of winch
1A hauling or lifting device consisting of a rope, cable, or chain winding around a horizontal rotating drum, turned by a crank or by motor or other power source; a windlass.
Example sentences
  • They do the work of motorized winches - haul logs, or move stuck tractors, raise towers, and so on - but with the deftness of a human hand.
  • The para-dropping and cargo handling equipment comprises two travelling cranes, two winches, rollgang and tiedown equipment.
  • Lucia was going to need a winch to haul me around everyday.
2The crank of a wheel or axle.
Example sentences
  • My primary role on the boat is called a ‘grinder’, and I provide power for the winches [the circular wheels which wind the boat's sails up and down].
  • The vessel to be fitted with winches, derricks, wheels and ordinary runners capable of handling lifts up to 2 tons.


[with object]
Hoist or haul with a winch.
Example sentences
  • Dramatic television footage showed rescue workers winching the nine survivors one-by-one from the roof of the restaurant as flames and smoke poured from the upper floors of the building in Taichung City in central Taiwan.
  • Having botched the attempt, and learnt Cleopatra was still alive, he is supposed to have been carried to the mausoleum and winched by the women up through a window to expire after a fine speech in his lover's arms.
  • Indian papers have been publishing pictures of women being winched to the bottom of wells to scoop up muddy liquid from what looks like puddles.



Example sentences
  • I'm trying to order a couple of sets of winchers and can't seem to find anyone who has them.
  • I find the wincher a complete inconvenience as a sheet winch, but as a halyard winch it's somewhat functional.
  • I used a set of winchers for over 10 years.


Late Old English wince 'reel, pulley', of Germanic origin; related to the verb wink. The verb dates from the early 16th century.

Words that rhyme with winch

cinch, clinch, finch, flinch, inch, lynch, Minch, pinch, squinch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: winch

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