companionway

[kuhm-pan-yuhn-wey]
noun Nautical.
1.
a stair or ladder within the hull of a vessel.
2.
the space occupied by this stair or ladder.

Origin:
1830–40; companion2 + way

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
companionway (kəmˈpænjənˌweɪ)
 
n
a stairway or ladder leading from one deck to another in a boat or ship

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
The acrid smell of vomit filled his nostrils as he went down the companionway.
Several times, his eyes and ears seared by the cold, he dove down and through the companionway hatch to cut it free.
The forecastle companionway is immediately behind the foremast and leads below by means of a steep ladder.
Companionway hatch covers should be checked regularly for faulty securing devices.
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