Nautical. a central fore-and-aft structural member in the bottom of a hull, extending from the stem to the sternpost and having the floors or frames attached to it, usually at right angles: sometimes projecting from the bottom of the hull to provide stability.
Literary. a ship or boat.
a part corresponding to a ship's keel in some other structure, as in a dirigible balloon.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Carina.
Botany, Zoology. a longitudinal ridge, as on a leaf or bone; a carina.
Also called brace molding. Architecture. a projecting molding the profile of which consists of two ogees symmetrically disposed about an arris or fillet.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to turn or upset so as to bring the wrong side or part uppermost.
to capsize or overturn.
to fall as in a faint:
Several cadets keeled over from the heat during the parade.
on an even keel, in a state of balance; steady; steadily:
The affairs of state are seldom on an even keel for long.
"lowest timber of a ship or boat," mid-14c., from O.N. kjölr "keel," from P.Gmc. *keluz, of uncertain origin. Etymologists say this is unconnected with the root of M.Du. kiel "ship," O.E. ceol "ship's prow," O.H.G. kiel, Ger. Kiel "ship," but the two words have influenced each other. This other word is said to be from P.Gmc. *keula, from PIE *geul- "rounded vessel." Keel still is used locally in England and U.S. for "flat-bottomed boat," especially on the Tyne. To keel over (1876) is from the nautical image of a ship turning keel-up. Keelhaul is 17c. from Du. kielhalen "to haul under the keel," an old punishment. The verb is 1838, Amer.Eng., from the noun.