Definition of boatswain in US English:

boatswain

(also bo'sun, bosun)

noun

  • A ship's officer in charge of equipment and the crew.

    • ‘‘They'll think you're a nutter,’ cut in Sean, the bosun, who put away seven pints in each port.’
    • ‘Shannon, even though promised an ‘A’ school, has decided to remain in deck and become a boatswain's mate.’
    • ‘The boatswain and master of the ship appear to say that it has been magically repaired and that the crew is safe.’
    • ‘The boatswain tells them that the ship is in fine condition.’
    • ‘Your captain said there were fifty men aboard, himself not included - his first mate, cook, navigator, purser, boatswain, carpenter, quartermaster, and forty-three sailors.’
    • ‘Take for instance, the boatswain's mate who needs to put that new coat of paint on the bulkhead.’
    • ‘A boatswain's mate on a ship's forecastle might not be paying attention to the color of the anchor chain paying out of the locker, or turn the friction brake in the wrong direction, with disastrous results.’
    • ‘It was the mutinous bosun, calling himself the captain, who abandoned the three of them and the real captain on the ship.’
    • ‘Silent Pete, the boatswain, as I later found out, tossed me a mop.’
    • ‘He served in the merchant marines as a boatswain and a machinist's mate when ships were going to places of interest.’
    • ‘At 11 in the morning the boatswain's mate would pipe ‘Up spirits,’ to cue the petty officer of the day to climb to the quarterdeck, where an officer would give him the keys to the spirit room.’
    • ‘He's a boatswain's mate by trade but said life on the LCAC's small deck beats the duties of bigger vessels.’
    • ‘Then the lanky, bearded boatswain would take the helm while the captain conned the ship from one bridge wing or the other, with the chief engineer at his elbow’
    • ‘Typically, it's a boatswain's mate or a quartermaster running the ship, while an engineer and one or two seaman line handlers assist in the shipboard operations.’
    • ‘Aviation boatswain's mates wash down the flight deck aboard PCU Ronald Reagan following a test of damage control systems.’
    • ‘I am a retired seaman and spent many a year sailing the world as a ship's boatswain.’
    • ‘The bo'sun took the hint and yelled, ‘Ahoy the boat!’’
    • ‘These were Lt. Jim Galvin and a boatswain's mate named Stevens.’
    • ‘Perhaps the boatswain missed the turn-off for Bangkok from the Mekong?’
    • ‘Accordingly, arming an employee with a pickax and sending him into the vessel in a bosun's seat would be inadvisable.’

Origin

Late Old English bātswegen (see boat, swain).

Pronunciation

boatswain

/ˈbōs(ə)n//ˈboʊs(ə)n/