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Denotation vs. Connotation

sheet anchor

noun
1.
Nautical. a large anchor used only in cases of emergency.
2.
a final reliance or resource, as when in danger.
Origin of sheet anchor
1485-1495
1485-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sheet anchor
Historical Examples
  • I have decided not to leave a stone unturned this winter, and in fact to throw out my sheet anchor.

    Cambridge and its Story Charles William Stubbs
  • His caprices remain the sheet anchor of the would-be virtuoso.

  • I should cut away the masts and bring up with my sheet anchor.

  • The sheet anchor was let go, and alone now kept the brig from destruction.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • In them stores you can buy anything and buy it cheap—cheapness is Ebenezer's stronghold and job lots is his sheet anchor.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But the doctors stick to calomel as the sheet anchor of their faith.

    The Funny Side of Physic A. D. Crabtre
  • Digalen a sheet anchor in pneumonia; a strong support to the heart in this deadliest of infectious diseases among adults.

  • One lives at the East-end, and is sheet anchor to Whittingtonia.

    The Long Vacation Charlotte M. Yonge
  • To a sheet anchor a stout hempen cable is generally bent, as lightening the strain at the bow, and being more elastic.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • It was his sheet anchor, a refuge from annoyances that would have incisively irritated or crushed another.

    Wagner as I Knew Him Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger
British Dictionary definitions for sheet anchor

sheet anchor

noun
1.
(nautical) a large strong anchor for use in emergency
2.
a person or thing to be relied upon in an emergency
Word Origin
C17: from earlier shute anker, from shoot (obsolete) the sheet of a sail
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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8
7
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