Definition of to the gunwales in English:

to the gunwales

phrase

informal
  • So as to be almost overflowing.

    • ‘the car is stuffed to the gunwales with camera equipment’
    • ‘The houses are never squalid; what they are is crammed to the gunwales with stuff - stuff that's been packed into drawers and cupboards and closets, no rhyme or reason to it, and not an inch of space to spare.’
    • ‘Across Europe, gigantic music stores stuffed to the gunwales with American pop, rock and urban do a sideline in hipster books.’
    • ‘Once, during a seasonal visit to the store, I watched as a little man struggled with a leviathan of a trolley, stuffed to the gunnels with drink, box after box of it.’
    • ‘With the place already stuffed to the gunnels with faceless drones, it will certainly be less interesting without him.’
    • ‘And where are the food and wines from around the globe that stuff our British supermarkets to the gunnels?’
    • ‘Mine was stuffed to the gunnels with everything I could lay my hands on before we split.’
    • ‘It was a bit of a comedown in that we had to pack up everything and then spend 48 hours homeless - living in other people's spare rooms, our car packed to the gunnels with all our worldly possessions.’
    • ‘I see the double-segment busses trundle past at rush hour, filled to the gunwales, and I'm glad: congestion would be worse without the busses.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it explains the huge number of ferries and hydrofoils that regularly ply the waters between Helsinki and Tallinn full to the gunwales with thirsty Finns.’
    • ‘As we danced and drank firewater away from the crush, thug after thug was hauled out of the crowd, some spattered with blood, others merely loaded to the gunwales with stolen booty.’