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[yahrd-ahrm] /ˈyɑrdˌɑrm/
noun, Nautical
either of the outer portions of the yard of a square sail.
Origin of yardarm
1545-55; yard1 + arm1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for yardarm
  • From the main yardarm dangled three lifeless, hooded figures.
  • Nevertheless, the second shot was true and landed across the port fore-topsail yardarm.
  • Two pole masts, one abaft the pilothouse and the other abaft the deckhouse, are rigged with a signal yardarm and running lights.
  • When a ship or command does a particularly good job, the commanding officer hoists two signal flags up the yardarm.
  • The remainder were catechized, baptized and then hanged from the ship's yardarm.
British Dictionary definitions for yardarm


(nautical) the two tapering outer ends of a ship's yard
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 yardarm

also yard-arm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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