Definition of bowline in English:


Line breaks: bow|line
Pronunciation: /ˈbəʊlɪn


  • 1A rope attaching the weather side of a square sail to a ship’s bow.
    More example sentences
    • Outside the harbor, the waves were high enough that we had to grip the bowlines to keep our feet.
    • She grabbed him and yanked him unceremoniously into the boat, and untied the bowline herself.
  • 2A simple knot for forming a non-slipping loop at the end of a rope.
    More example sentences
    • Slip the loop of the bowstring over the nock and down the limb of the bow and tie the free end of the string to the other nock using a timber hitch, bowline or similar non-stressing knot.
    • While we tied a bowline loop in the end of a rope I called, ‘What sort of shape's he in?’
    • ‘A hideous thing to watch, even as a quasi-curious foreigner,’ was Thompson's initial reaction, despite his assertion that he ‘can still tie a mean bowline knot on just about anything in less than ten seconds’.


Middle English: from Middle Low German bōlīne, Middle Dutch boechlijne, from boeg 'ship's bow' + lijne 'line'.

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