Definition of marlinspike in English:


Syllabification: mar·lin·spike
Pronunciation: /ˈmärlənˌspīk
(also marlinespike)


  • A pointed metal tool used by sailors to separate strands of rope or wire, especially in splicing.
    More 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.


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

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