1The longitudinal structure along the centerline at the bottom of a vessel’s hull, on which the rest of the hull is built, in some vessels extended downward as a blade or ridge to increase stability.
- Support the keel with timber blocking to take most of the weight of the hull.
- Even nautical archaeology has made great gains, for many of the waterfront structures incorporated broken-up vessel fragments, hull planking, keels, a prow, a side rudder, ribs, a mast partner.
- Again the men were coerced under once more, and made to endure yet another rake along the keel of the ship, where lurked the treacherous gatherings of barnacles.
1.1 Zoology A ridge along the breastbone of many birds to which the flight muscles are attached; the carina.
- The sternum, or breastbone, bears a prominent keel where the flight muscles attach.
- M. gui's sternum didn't have a keel upon which large flight muscles could be attached.
- It has a distinct fold of flesh, marked by a line of hair that runs like a keel along its belly.
1.2 Botany A prow-shaped pair of petals present in flowers of the pea family.
- Within-flower transfer of pollen from anthers to stigma was achieved by depressing the keel petal of newly opened flowers using fine forceps.
- The reproductive organs are enclosed within the keel petals.
- As in other specimens of D. zenos, a ventral keel is not present.
verb[no object] (keel over)
1(Of a boat or ship) turn over on its side; capsize.
- It proved the final blow for the Neptune; the ship slowly keeled over and sank.
- Finally in October, it became obvious that they were going to lose the ship as it had keeled over, and was listing to port.
- After being given a crash-course in rowing, my first hurdle was to get into the boat without it keeling over.
1.1 informal (Of a person or thing) fall over; collapse.
- Soon enough we were in the hallway, keeling over holding our sides.
- I crossed to the other side and found Ewen keeled over on the ground.
- Drew has keeled over to one side of the sofa and is laughing hysterically into the cushions.
- [in combination]: a deep-keeled yacht
- Example sentences
- Physically, breeding stock should have keelless breasts and broad backs.
- This is something you simply cannot do in a keelless flat bottom boat.
- The carapace (upper shell) is olive to dark brown to almost black, patternless, smooth and keelless.
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