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bowsprit

[bou-sprit, boh-] /ˈbaʊ sprɪt, ˈboʊ-/
noun, Nautical
1.
a spar projecting from the upper end of the bow of a sailing vessel, for holding the tacks of various jibs or stays and often supporting a jib boom.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English bouspret < Middle Low German bōchspret (cognate with Dutch boegsprit) (bōch bow3 + spret pole, cognate with Old English sprēot)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bow sprit

bowsprit

/ˈbəʊsprɪt/
noun
1.
(nautical) a spar projecting from the bow of a vessel, esp a sailing vessel, used to carry the headstay as far forward as possible
Word Origin
C13: from Middle Low German bōchsprēt, from bōchbow³ + sprēt pole
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for bow sprit

bowsprit

n.

"spar extending from the bow of a ship," late 13c., probably from Middle Low German bochspret, from boch "bow of a ship" (see bow (n.2)) + spret "pole" (cf. Old English spreot "pole," Dutch spriet "spear;" see sprit). French beaupre is a Dutch loan word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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