tripping line

noun Nautical.
See under trip1 ( def 28a ).

1835–45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

c.1380 (implied in tripper), "tread or step lightly, skip, caper," from O.Fr. tripper "strike with the feet" (12c.), from a Gmc. source (cf. M.Du. trippen "to skip, trip, hop," Low Ger. trippeln, Fris. tripje, Du. trappen, O.E. treppan "to tread, trample") related to trap.
The sense of "strike with the foot and cause to stumble" is first recorded c.1425. Meaning "to release" (a catch, lever, etc.) is recorded from 1897; trip-wire is attested from 1916.

"act or action of tripping," 1660, from trip (v.); sense of "a short journey or voyage" is from 1691, originally a nautical term, the connection is uncertain. The meaning "psychedelic drug experience" is first recorded 1959 as a noun; the verb in this sense is from 1966, from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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