Main definitions of keel in English

: keel1keel2

keel1

noun

  • 1The lengthwise timber or steel structure along the base of a ship, supporting the framework of the whole, in some vessels extended downwards as a ridge to increase stability.

    • ‘Components such as keel, engine beds, mast step, structural bulkheads and rigging loads are all connected to the grid, resulting in a very rigid and strong structure.’
    • ‘It's not just a keel and hull and a deck and sails.’
    • ‘Only the transom and a small section of the keel of the vessel - owned by the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust - were left.’
    • ‘At the midships section the keel is suspended above the seabed and there is plenty of space to swim through.’
    • ‘The hull was modified in 1995 to include two ventilated steps, a keel pad and notched transom.’
    • ‘Even nautical archaeology has made great gains, for many of the waterfront structures incorporated broken-up vessel fragments, hull planking, keels, a prow, a side rudder, ribs, a mast partner.’
    • ‘The full-length keel aids in directional stability as well as dampening roll and the deep forefoot helps to prevent pounding in choppy seas.’
    • ‘Support the keel with timber blocking to take most of the weight of the hull.’
    • ‘The bolted-on steel armour has been salvaged to leave the teak hull split open along the keel.’
    • ‘There was a low scraping sound as the keel of the vessel started the drag against the sandy bottom.’
    • ‘The keel is a centreboard but not weighted; the ballast is in the hull itself (which sounds inefficient but actually works surprisingly well).’
    • ‘The bow and stern are still intact, with amidships broken down to the keel and the wheelhouse upside-down just off the stern.’
    • ‘Unlike the other sections, the stern was much battered, showing steel ribs extending up from the keel to around a metre in height.’
    • ‘Perhaps our ancestors got confused with the songs of humpback whales amplified by the keels of their vessels.’
    • ‘A diversion along the keel reveals the remains of the rudder and propshafts.’
    • ‘Fiberglass yachts must have a long keel with a keelhung rudder and be descended from a wooden hull design.’
    • ‘The keel is external lead fastened with stainless steel bolts.’
    • ‘Again the men were coerced under once more, and made to endure yet another rake along the keel of the ship, where lurked the treacherous gatherings of barnacles.’
    • ‘His arms dove forward as, clutching the rope tightly he made for the bottom, the dark mass that was the keel of his ship blocking out the beams of light from the sun.’
    • ‘A supporting structure for a mast, this can extend below the main deck, possibly even down to the keel of the ship.’
    base, bottom, bottom side, underside
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary A ship.
      ‘to buy a new keel with my gold, And fill her with such things as she may hold’
  • 2Zoology
    A ridge along the breastbone of many birds to which the flight muscles are attached; the carina.

    • ‘Both surfaces of the wings are Oxblood Red to Dark Perilla Purple, while the keel blends from Dark Vinaceous to Pale Dull Green-yellow or White.’
    • ‘It has a distinct fold of flesh, marked by a line of hair that runs like a keel along its belly.’
    • ‘The morphology of Archaeopteryx, with large wings and tail, but no sternal keel, and with semi-lunate carpal in the wrist, is consistent with this model.’
    • ‘An example used by both Schmalhausen and Waddington concerns the calluses on the keels and sterna of ostriches.’
    • ‘The sternum, or breastbone, bears a prominent keel where the flight muscles attach.’
    • ‘M. gui's sternum didn't have a keel upon which large flight muscles could be attached.’
  • 3Botany
    A prow-shaped pair of petals present in flowers of the pea family.

    • ‘As in other specimens of D. zenos, a ventral keel is not present.’
    • ‘Within-flower transfer of pollen from anthers to stigma was achieved by depressing the keel petal of newly opened flowers using fine forceps.’
    • ‘The keel of A. priceana does not coil after tripping, instead, it bends sharply backwards at the mid-point.’
    • ‘The reproductive organs are enclosed within the keel petals.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of a boat or ship) turn over on its side; capsize.

    ‘it's going to take more wind to make this boat keel over’
    • ‘The French navy was the most significant victim of this period of experimentation and had lost several ships which had keeled over and sank due to design faults.’
    • ‘It proved the final blow for the Neptune; the ship slowly keeled over and sank.’
    • ‘After being given a crash-course in rowing, my first hurdle was to get into the boat without it keeling over.’
    • ‘Finally in October, it became obvious that they were going to lose the ship as it had keeled over, and was listing to port.’
    • ‘Some of the boats keel over and sink, spilling pilgrims and fuel into the harbour.’
    • ‘On the 28th of August 1791, the HMS Pandora sank off the northern coast of Australia when she had hit a reef, keeled over and sank.’
    capsize, turn turtle, turn upside down, turn topsy-turvy, founder, list, heel over, lean over
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal (of a person or thing) fall over; collapse.
      ‘a wardrobe was about to keel over on top of him’
      • ‘But I'm also trying not to just keel over and topple onto the carpet.’
      • ‘Soon enough we were in the hallway, keeling over holding our sides.’
      • ‘But had Ganguly keeled over early on, so would have his side.’
      • ‘I crossed to the other side and found Ewen keeled over on the ground.’
      • ‘Maurice Walker, who lives nearby, said: ‘The lead coach is over on the shore side, it's keeled over and separated entirely from the rest.’’
      • ‘Suddenly there's a gun shot, and the man keels over.’
      • ‘Shortly after mating, the male usually keels over and dies.’
      • ‘He dropped to his knees and keeled over sideways as blood spouted from the side of his head like a drinking fountain.’
      • ‘But if the share price keels over, you'll be grateful you have restricted stock.’
      • ‘Drew has keeled over to one side of the sofa and is laughing hysterically into the cushions.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse kjǫlr, of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation:

keel

/kiːl/

Main definitions of keel in English

: keel1keel2

keel2

noun

British
  • A flat-bottomed boat of a kind formerly used on the Rivers Tyne and Wear for loading ships carrying coal.

    • ‘The original Tyne keel was clinker-built but later types were of carvel build.’
    • ‘The earliest recorded use of Keels for transporting coal on the Tyne is in the early 1300's.’

Origin

Middle English: from Middle Low German kēl, Middle Dutch kiel ship, boat.

Pronunciation:

keel

/kiːl/