Definition of grapnel in English:



  • 1A grappling hook.

    • ‘Additionally I have found that the typical grapnel often does not provide sufficient holding power.’
    • ‘Cut and hold grapnels raise cable for repair from deep water.’
    • ‘With the grapnel and rope attached to its antlers the animal struggles to get loose and breaks the rope, but not before it pulls the hydrofloat over to a wooden dock.’
    • ‘The skipper rigs a 45m line with a grapnel to place it as close to the bridge as possible.’
    • ‘Many of the grapnels never reached the top because they were soaked and too heavy.’
    • ‘Several grapnels were hurled onto the deck from the patrol boat, latching onto to side rails and other parts of the hull.’
    • ‘A fresh wind was blowing so that it was impossible to work from a small boat tightly strained between two grapnels, in which manner the Norwegian current measurements were generally taken.’
    • ‘To obviate this, grapnels have been devised which, simultaneously with hooking the cable, will cut it and hold the desired end.’
    • ‘Apertures for grapnels will be cut by divers.’
    • ‘They would have three good ships for cutting grapnels and holding grapnels, so that they could buoy and lift the cable in three parts.’
    • ‘This entails digging down around the mine so that a grapnel can be attached and the mine pulled out of the ground my men under cover.’
    • ‘The collapsible grapnel is a hand-thrown grapnel hook that is used for climbing, removing mines and other objects, and pulling concertina and barbed wire obstacles.’
    • ‘Instantly dazzled, I scurry along to the top of a bed at the very end, by the corner, where a petrol lamp jingles unnoticed from a ceiling grapnel.’
    • ‘The grapnels in high strength aluminum alloy can be projected to a height of minimum 50 m and horizontally to a minimum of 80 metres.’
    • ‘A wide variety of chain/wire chasers and grapnels are available, in addition to those illustrated below.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the weight of the inertia parts unnecessarily increases the weight of the whole grapnel.’
  • 2A small anchor with several flukes.

    • ‘In fact, as Tendron threw grapnels across and boarded the ship, he was welcomed by a committee which included Redwing and Princess Jenaryn.’
    • ‘This proved invaluable for accurately plotting the outline of the wreck and positioning our grapnel line exactly where we wanted it.’
    • ‘It allows anchoring at great depths with grapnels or other types of anchors and facilitates their recovery.’
    • ‘To ensure that the shotline remains in one place, a folding grapnel anchor of the type commonly used by small boats in areas where a sand anchor will not hold is ideal.’


Late Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French diminutive of Old French grapon, of Germanic origin.