Definition of bowsprit in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbouˌsprit/ /ˈbaʊˌsprɪt/ /ˈbōˌsprit/ /ˈboʊˌsprɪt/


  • A spar extending forward from a ship's bow, to which the forestays are fastened.

    • ‘Adrianna was standing on the forecastle deck near the bowsprit of the ship, staring out at the crashing waves and crystal clear water.’
    • ‘Without the support of the bowsprit, the long spar that extends forward from the bow of the ship, there was no support for the masts.’
    • ‘She has 27 sails in a frigate rig on three masts and a bowsprit, with a total surface area of 2,683 square metres.’
    • ‘In early 2002, HMS Rose had to be delivered down the East Coast, through the Panama Canal to a dry dock in San Diego and en route had a bowsprit damaged in a hurricane off Cape Hatteras.’
    • ‘They saw the top main mast fall, could see the billowing smoke from her starboard side, and the bowsprit of another ship sticking beyond her stern.’
    • ‘There are substantial bulwarks around the side and forward decks for secure footing, and a large foredeck locker, with the anchors stowed on the bowsprit.’
    • ‘She went as far forward as she could, to the very bowsprit of the ship.’
    • ‘Hedera stood at the bowsprit of the ship, as still as the bolted-down bench she was standing on.’
    • ‘If brute force isn't your forte, you're also encouraged to take the helm, visit the engine room or walk out on the bowsprit.’
    • ‘But I have a hard time looking at other boats, especially those with exposed planking, a bowsprit and her sheerline.’
    • ‘I hung over the side of the pulpit and saw that the bobstay chain was shackled to the end cap on the bowsprit, so I hunted up a wrench and another shackle.’
    • ‘The chain hung straight down from the chock of the bowsprit and although our flags above flickered in the breeze, the water lay unruffled.’
    • ‘I saw the familiar black hull, the bowsprit, the gaff rig, the extraordinary long boom that overhung the stern by a good ten feet, the varnished spars, and the wood rings that held the mainsail to the mast.’
    • ‘Her bowsprit carries two foresails, and her large mainsail is gaff rigged, with an upside-down triangle of topsail to fill the gap at the masthead.’
    • ‘Next we had to set the course sail, the top sail of the forward mast, then the foresails out over the bowsprit.’
    • ‘She had swum to the bowsprit and climbed back on board.’
    • ‘The bark is 42 metres long from her bowsprit to her stern, has a beam of almost ten metres and a draught of just under four metres.’
    • ‘Ashtalán smiled as she watched him go, and then leaped nimbly from the deck to the bowsprit.’
    • ‘When I got back to the ship, I shimmied up the bowsprit, the long point off the front of the ship.’
    • ‘After dinner, the two went on deck to walk arm in arm from the quarter-deck to the bowsprit and back again.’
    prow, front, forepart, stem, rostrum, ram, nose, head, bowsprit, cutwater


Middle English from Middle Low German bōgsprēt, Middle Dutch boechspriet, from boech ‘bow’ + spriet ‘sprit’.



/ˈbouˌsprit/ /ˈbaʊˌsprɪt/ /ˈbōˌsprit/ /ˈboʊˌsprɪt/