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marlinespike

[mahr-lin-spahyk] /ˈmɑr lɪnˌspaɪk/
noun, Nautical
1.
a pointed iron implement used in separating the strands of rope in splicing, marling, etc.
Also, marlinspike, marlingspike
[mahr-ling-spahyk] /ˈmɑr lɪŋˌspaɪk/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1620-1630
1620-30; orig. marling spike. See marl2, -ing1, spike1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for marlinspike

marlinespike

/ˈmɑːlɪnˌspaɪk/
noun
1.
(nautical) a pointed metal tool used as a fid, spike, and for various other purposes
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 marlinspike
n.

"pointed iron tool used by sailors to separate strands of rope," 1620s, from spike (n.) + Middle Dutch marlijn "small cord," from marlen "to fasten or secure (a sail)," probably frequentative of Middle Dutch maren "to tie, moor" (see moor (v.)). Influenced in Dutch by Dutch lijn "line" (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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