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rope yarn

See under yarn (def 3).
Origin of rope yarn


[yahrn] /yɑrn/
thread made of natural or synthetic fibers and used for knitting and weaving.
a continuous strand or thread made from glass, metal, plastic, etc.
the thread, in the form of a loosely twisted aggregate of fibers, as of hemp, of which rope is made (rope yarn)
a tale, especially a long story of adventure or incredible happenings:
He spun a yarn that outdid any I had ever heard.
verb (used without object)
Informal. to spin a yarn; tell stories.
before 1000; Middle English; Old English gearn; cognate with German Garn; akin to Old Norse gǫrn gut, Greek chordḗ intestine, chord1, Lithuanian žarnà entrails, Latin hernia a rupture, Sanskrit hirā vein Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rope-yarn
Historical Examples
  • Dick and I were at work on the bowsprit, I sitting by him, holding the rope-yarn and grease-pot.

    Charley Laurel W. H. G. Kingston
  • Not a man of us turns to, unless you swear not to raise a rope-yarn against us.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • Gather this cloth over the rest of the sail on the boom, stopping the outer end of the cloth with a rope-yarn round the jib stay.

    The Seaman's Friend Richard Henry Dana
  • If you touch a rope-yarn of this ship I shall board instantly.

    Pike & Cutlass George Gibbs
  • The rope-yarn was tied round her neck; they each shook one of her paws, and pretended to cry.

    Frank Mildmay Captain Frederick Marryat
  • In making the wad, the end of a rope-yarn is fixed in the score, and the mould is turned by a crank until the score is filled.

  • Some rope-yarn was passed about his wrists, and in this condition he was dragged to Captain Morgan.

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
  • A small mat faced with rope-yarn or spun yarn, which is used in a vessel's rigging to prevent chafing.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The chain, which is single, not double, was and is stopped to eye-bolts with rope-yarn and by iron dogs.

  • The floor is bare, except that one old mat, trodden to shreds of rope-yarn, lies perishing upon the hearth.

    Bleak House Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for rope-yarn


a continuous twisted strand of natural or synthetic fibres, used in weaving, knitting, etc
(informal) a long and often involved story or account, usually telling of incredible or fantastic events
(informal) spin a yarn
  1. to tell such a story
  2. to make up or relate a series of excuses
(intransitive) to tell such a story or stories
Word Origin
Old English gearn; related to Old High German garn yarn, Old Norse görn gut, Greek khordē string, gut

rope yarn

the natural or synthetic fibres out of which rope is made
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 rope-yarn



Old English gearn "spun fiber," from Proto-Germanic *garnan (cf. Old Norse, Old High German, German garn, Middle Dutch gaern, Dutch garen "yarn"), from PIE root *ghere- "intestine, gut, entrail" (cf. Old Norse gorn "gut," Sanskrit hira "vein; entrails," Latin hernia "rupture," Greek khorde "intestine, gut-string," Lithuanian zarna "gut"). The phrase to spin a yarn "to tell a story" is first attested 1812, from a sailors' expression, on notion of telling stories while engaged in sedentary work such as yarn-twisting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rope-yarn in the Bible

Found only in 1 Kings 10:28, 2 Chr. 1:16. The Heb. word mikveh, i.e., "a stringing together," so rendered, rather signifies a host, or company, or a string of horses. The Authorized Version has: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price;" but the Revised Version correctly renders: "And the horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; the king's merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with rope-yarn


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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