a device for raising or hauling objects, usually consisting of a horizontal cylinder or barrel turned by a crank, lever, motor, or the like, upon which a cable, rope, or chain winds, the outer end of the cable being attached directly or indirectly to the weight to be raised or the thing to be hauled or pulled; winch.
verb (used with object)
to raise, haul, or move (a load) by means of a windlass.
Origin: 1350–1400;Middle Englishwind(e)las < Old Norsevindāss, equivalent to vinda to wind2 + āss beam
device for raising weights by winding a rope round a cylinder, c.1400, alteration of wyndase (1293), from Anglo-Fr. windas, and directly from a Scand. source such as O.N. vindass, from vinda "to wind" (see wind (v.)) + ass "pole, beam."