Share this entry

Share this page

gunwale

Line breaks: gun|wale
Pronunciation: /ˈɡʌn(ə)l
 
/
(also gunnel)

Definition of gunwale in English:

noun

(often gunwales)
The upper edge or planking 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.

Origin

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

Phrases

to the gunwales

1
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.

Definition of gunwale in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈʃprɑːxɡəˌfuːl
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…