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[boh-lin, -lahyn] /ˈboʊ lɪn, -ˌlaɪn/
Also called bowline knot. a knot used to make a nonslipping loop on the end of a rope.
Nautical. a rope made fast to the weather leech of a square sail, for keeping the sail as flat as possible when close-hauled.
on a bowline, Nautical. sailing close-hauled.
on an easy bowline, Nautical. close-hauled with sails well filled.
Origin of bowline
1275-1325; Middle English bouline, equivalent to bou- (perhaps boue bow2) + line line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bowline
  • He can tie up the usefulness of the whole organization tighter than a towing bowline.
  • Even better, folding a pocket square is easier than tying a bowline knot.
  • Pulls the knot snugly into place, forming an inside bowline with the working end on the inside of the loop.
  • They've been known to spin a yarn, as likely as teach you how to tie a bowline or show you how a lock operates.
  • The loose end of the rope shall be tied by a bowline knot or by a round turn and a half hitch.
British Dictionary definitions for bowline


noun (nautical)
a line for controlling the weather leech of a square sail when a vessel is close-hauled
on a bowline, beating close to the wind
a knot used for securing a loop that will not slip at the end of a piece of rope
Word Origin
C14: probably from Middle Low German bōlīne, equivalent to bow³ + line1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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