Definition of ratlines in English:


Line breaks: rat|lines
Pronunciation: /ˈratlɪnz


  • A series of small rope lines fastened across a sailing ship’s shrouds like the rungs of a ladder, used for climbing the rigging: I scrambled back down the ratlines
    More example sentences
    • 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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