Definition of kedge in English:


(also kedge anchor)

Pronunciation /kej/ /kɛdʒ/

See synonyms for kedge


  • (with reference to a ship or boat) move by hauling in a hawser attached to a small anchor dropped at some distance.

    with object ‘I kedged the dinghy to the port’
    • ‘most of the smaller boats had to kedge for a while’
    • ‘As at Goshen, these craft, because of the narrowness of the creek, had to be launched sideways, and then were often kedged down the creek to the bay.’
    • ‘Once we kedged our way off a mud bar on the Mystic River, the silty anchor tossed again and again till our boat glided free.’
    • ‘In beautiful sunshine and beautiful surroundings we kedged ourselves off and managed to catch the last lock of the day into the swamp.’
    • ‘Still he dutifully logged the coordinates and, helped by the tide, kedged his ship off the reef leaving behind an island whose far and distant isolation would one day become its most valuable feature.’
    • ‘In fact, the reverse may be the problem and we could be spending time kedged as the tide turns foul off Portland Bill (if we even get that far!’
    • ‘A few boats came by and gave a ride to most onboard while we waited for the tide to turn and eventually kedged ourselves free.’
    • ‘Preparations for kedging should be made well clear of the shore, outside any surf line which exists.’
    • ‘The wheels extend below the deployed outboard hulls to assist in kedging by reducing friction, suction, and risk of hull damage.’
    • ‘Disaster threatened until Captain Hull astutely towed, wetted sails, and kedged to draw the ship slowly ahead of her pursuers.’
    • ‘Notice that you need to ‘pull on the line’ in order to actually perform the process of kedging.’
    • ‘Nobody we saw kedged at this point, although we did consider both the act and the chaos it might cause if everyone tried it…’
    • ‘The British were taken aback by the enemy ship's apparent burst of speed, but they soon discovered the trick and began kedging themselves.’
    • ‘On October 16 the ships kedged their way up the harbor and formed a line out of range from shore.’


  • A small anchor used to reposition a ship or boat by having the anchor's hawser hauled in.

    ‘The stern is marked by a small kedge anchor.’
    • ‘So, equipped with kedge anchors and cable, and adorned in their skin-tight diving gear, they set off.’
    • ‘The crew had run out the kedge anchor to move the vessel ahead when breaking seas interfered.’
    • ‘At least double the scope required is paid out and the kedge anchor is dropped.’
    • ‘Use a Dinghy or tender to row the kedge anchor in deeper water.’


Late 15th century perhaps a specific use of dialect cadge ‘bind, tie’.