Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[dav-it, dey-vit] /ˈdæv ɪt, ˈdeɪ vɪt/
any of various cranelike devices used singly or in pairs for supporting, raising, and lowering especially boats, anchors, and cargo over a hatchway or side of a ship.
Origin of davit
1325-75; Middle English daviot < Anglo-French, apparently diminutive of Davi David Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for davit
Historical Examples
  • But as it went Mayo clutched a davit pulley and swung in midair.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • "Trussed him up to the davit pole," he breathed in the inspector's ear.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate Freeman Wills Crofts
  • One of the starboard boats, attached to the davit by only one fall, was held by the wind like a flag straight out over the deck.

    The Grey Lady Henry Seton Merriman
  • As soon as we are all clear, wear round—Let run that davit fall?

    There She Blows! William Hussey Macy
  • They cast off the davit blocks, and began rowing toward the bobbing head.

  • The davit blocks were treble for the lifeboats and double for the cutters.

    Loss of the Steamship 'Titanic' British Government
  • It was hanging by the after davit, a mere bunch of smashed sticks.

    Command William McFee
  • Touch the tackling of the davit, one of you; only touch it, and I'll cleave your skull.

  • First of all, the boat was temporarily slung by stout ropes from the davit ends; then the tackles were let go and unhooked.

  • Instead of this a Vaudois captain, davit, was executed, and others placed under arrest upon unjust suspicions.

    The Vaudois of Piedmont John Napper Worsfold
British Dictionary definitions for davit


/ˈdævɪt; ˈdeɪ-/
a cranelike device, usually one of a pair, fitted with a tackle for suspending or lowering equipment, esp a lifeboat
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French daviot, diminutive of Davi David
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for davit

also david, "crane-like structure used to lower things off a ship, etc.," late 15c., apparently a use of the masc. proper name David on the pattern of applying common Christian names to useful devices (cf. jack, jenny, jimmy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for davit

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for davit

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for davit