Definition of bowsprit in English:



  • A spar running out from a ship's bow, to which the forestays are fastened.

    • ‘Adrianna was standing on the forecastle deck near the bowsprit of the ship, staring out at the crashing waves and crystal clear water.’
    • ‘The bark is 42 metres long from her bowsprit to her stern, has a beam of almost ten metres and a draught of just under four metres.’
    • ‘Hedera stood at the bowsprit of the ship, as still as the bolted-down bench she was standing on.’
    • ‘She went as far forward as she could, to the very bowsprit of the ship.’
    • ‘In early 2002, HMS Rose had to be delivered down the East Coast, through the Panama Canal to a dry dock in San Diego and en route had a bowsprit damaged in a hurricane off Cape Hatteras.’
    • ‘Without the support of the bowsprit, the long spar that extends forward from the bow of the ship, there was no support for the masts.’
    • ‘Ashtalán smiled as she watched him go, and then leaped nimbly from the deck to the bowsprit.’
    • ‘There are substantial bulwarks around the side and forward decks for secure footing, and a large foredeck locker, with the anchors stowed on the bowsprit.’
    • ‘I hung over the side of the pulpit and saw that the bobstay chain was shackled to the end cap on the bowsprit, so I hunted up a wrench and another shackle.’
    • ‘After dinner, the two went on deck to walk arm in arm from the quarter-deck to the bowsprit and back again.’
    • ‘But I have a hard time looking at other boats, especially those with exposed planking, a bowsprit and her sheerline.’
    • ‘Next we had to set the course sail, the top sail of the forward mast, then the foresails out over the bowsprit.’
    • ‘Her bowsprit carries two foresails, and her large mainsail is gaff rigged, with an upside-down triangle of topsail to fill the gap at the masthead.’
    • ‘When I got back to the ship, I shimmied up the bowsprit, the long point off the front of the ship.’
    • ‘She has 27 sails in a frigate rig on three masts and a bowsprit, with a total surface area of 2,683 square metres.’
    • ‘If brute force isn't your forte, you're also encouraged to take the helm, visit the engine room or walk out on the bowsprit.’
    • ‘The chain hung straight down from the chock of the bowsprit and although our flags above flickered in the breeze, the water lay unruffled.’
    • ‘I saw the familiar black hull, the bowsprit, the gaff rig, the extraordinary long boom that overhung the stern by a good ten feet, the varnished spars, and the wood rings that held the mainsail to the mast.’
    • ‘She had swum to the bowsprit and climbed back on board.’
    • ‘They saw the top main mast fall, could see the billowing smoke from her starboard side, and the bowsprit of another ship sticking beyond her stern.’
    prow, front, forepart, stem, rostrum, ram, nose, head, cutwater
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Middle Low German bōgsprēt, Middle Dutch boechspriet, from boech ‘bow’ + spriet ‘sprit’.