Definition of winch in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɪn(t)ʃ/


Image of winch
1A hauling or lifting device consisting of a rope or chain winding round a horizontal rotating drum, turned typically by a crank or by motor.
Example sentences
  • They do the work of motorized winches - haul logs, or move stuck tractors, raise towers, and so on - but with the deftness of a human hand.
  • The para-dropping and cargo handling equipment comprises two travelling cranes, two winches, rollgang and tiedown equipment.
  • Lucia was going to need a winch to haul me around everyday.
crane, derrick, hoist, davit, windlass, tackle, block and tackle, lifting gear, hoisting gear, system of pulleys, sheave;
Nautical  sheerlegs
1.1British The reel of a fishing rod.
Example sentences
  • Look at any fly rod and you will see that the screw winch fitting is at the very end of the rod.
  • The winch could simply be a large fishing reel with some pretty small towline (or large fishing line - depending upon your point of view).
1.2 another term for wince2.
Example sentences
  • Sasuke took out the kunai knife, expecting Ayame to winch in pain, but she didn't. She was still.
  • Did anyone else grab their ears and winch in pain when Kevin began to sing on Monday's show?
2The crank of a wheel or axle.
Example sentences
  • My primary role on the boat is called a ‘grinder’, and I provide power for the winches [the circular wheels which wind the boat's sails up and down].
  • The vessel to be fitted with winches, derricks, wheels and ordinary runners capable of handling lifts up to 2 tons.


[with object]
Hoist or haul with a winch: an attempt to winch survivors of the wreck into a helicopter
More example sentences
  • Dramatic television footage showed rescue workers winching the nine survivors one-by-one from the roof of the restaurant as flames and smoke poured from the upper floors of the building in Taichung City in central Taiwan.
  • Having botched the attempt, and learnt Cleopatra was still alive, he is supposed to have been carried to the mausoleum and winched by the women up through a window to expire after a fine speech in his lover's arms.
  • Indian papers have been publishing pictures of women being winched to the bottom of wells to scoop up muddy liquid from what looks like puddles.



Example sentences
  • I'm trying to order a couple of sets of winchers and can't seem to find anyone who has them.
  • I find the wincher a complete inconvenience as a sheet winch, but as a halyard winch it's somewhat functional.
  • I used a set of winchers for over 10 years.


Late Old English wince 'reel, pulley', of Germanic origin; related to the verb wink. The verb dates from the early 16th century.

Words that rhyme with winch

cinch, clinch, finch, flinch, inch, lynch, Minch, pinch, squinch

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: winch

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