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[fohk-suh l, fawr-kas-uh l, -kah-suh l, fohr-] /ˈfoʊk səl, ˈfɔrˌkæs əl, -ˌkɑ səl, ˈfoʊr-/
noun, Nautical
a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors.
any sailors' quarters located in the forward part of a vessel, as a deckhouse.
the forward part of the weather deck of a vessel, especially that part forward of the foremast.
Also, fo'c's'le, fo'c'sle.
Origin of forecastle
1300-50; Middle English forcastel. See fore-, castle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for forecastle
  • They led the rescue of the burning vessel's boatswain from the forecastle.
  • The foot of the mast lies on the deck and the mid-portion lies across the forecastle near the end of the catwalk.
  • Weather deck is from forecastle bulkhead aft to forward bulkhead of the aft garage house.
  • The last two mines were placed in the forecastle beneath the jib boom.
  • The forecastle of the ship was later removed, leaving only the hull which entombed the crew.
  • The forecastle was filled with water and the bedding and clothing of the crew were soaked.
  • Seas were breaking over the forward part of the vessel and a number of butter boxes on the forecastle got loose.
  • In a few minutes dense clouds of smoke were issuing from the forecastle, accompanied by flames.
  • The watchman was swept overboard, and the remainder of the crew were imprisoned iv the cabin and forecastle.
British Dictionary definitions for forecastle


the part of a vessel at the bow where the crew is quartered and stores, machines, etc, may be stowed
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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Word Origin and History for forecastle

c.1400, earlier Anglo-French forechasteil (mid-14c.), from Middle English fore- "before" + Anglo-French castel "fortified tower," the short raised deck in the fore part of the ship used in warfare (see castle (n.)). Spelling fo'c'sle reflects sailors' pronunciation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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