A series of small ropes fastened across a sailing ship’s shrouds like the rungs of a ladder, used for climbing the rigging.
- The product of a seafaring family, Seal is at home among the rigging, the ratlines, the shrouds and spars of his leading lady.
- Pamela watched the men climbing the ratlines, standing on the yards, or in the footropes.
- In the fresh wind the vibration of the shrouds as fifty men ran up the ratlines could be distinctly heard.
Late Middle English: of unknown origin.
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