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[haw-zer, -ser] /ˈhɔ zər, -sər/
noun, Nautical.
a heavy rope for mooring or towing.
Origin of hawser
1300-50; Middle English haucer < Anglo-French hauceour, equivalent to Middle French hauci(er) to hoist (< Late Latin *altiāre to raise, derivative of Latin altus high; see haughty) + -our -or2, -er2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hawser
Historical Examples
  • I rang to go ahead; and when the hawser was hauled in, I backed the steamer away from the bank.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • He knew besides such words as "hawser," "bulkhead" and "ebb-tide."

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • A mortar was also brought for the purpose of firing a line over the vessel, to stretch a hawser between it and the shore.

    At Home And Abroad Margaret Fuller Ossoli
  • Leaping on to it, the boatswain and Lizard made fast the hawser.

  • By the time the hawser was fast on board, the Surf had drifted twice her own length from the ship.

    In Greek Waters G. A. Henty
  • The hawser, however, parted, and with it the last hope of escape.

    Admiral Farragut A. T. Mahan
  • To warp a ship ahead, though the tide be contrary, by means of the kedge-anchor and hawser.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • But how do you make a leaf into a cord, a hawser, a sail, or a bag?

    Fil and Filippa John Stuart Thomson
  • At the other end was a hawser which the boat now towed towards the rock.

  • The keeping the hove-in part of a cable or hawser clear of the capstan.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for hawser


(nautical) a large heavy rope
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French hauceour, from Old French haucier to hoist, ultimately from Latin altus high
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 hawser

"large rope used for mooring, towing, etc.," late 13c., from Anglo-French haucer, from Old French halcier, haucier, literally "hoister," from Vulgar Latin *altiare, alteration of Late Latin altare "make high," from altus "high" (see old). Altered in English on mistaken association with hawse and perhaps haul.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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