snatch block

snatch block

noun Nautical.
a fairlead having the form of a block that can be opened to receive the bight of a rope at any point along its length.

Origin:
1615–25

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World English Dictionary
snatch block
 
n
nautical a block that can be opened so that a rope can be inserted from the side, without threading it through from the end
 
[C17: so called because the rope can be inserted quickly: figuratively, the block snatches it. See snatch]

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