Definition of bulkhead in US English:



  • A dividing wall or barrier between compartments in a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.

    • ‘The submarine consists of six watertight compartments separated by transverse bulkheads in a pressurised double-hull.’
    • ‘The air conditioning panel was located on the bulkhead aft of the crew door.’
    • ‘One industry source said that the airlines and the two big manufacturers Boeing and Airbus will discuss fixing bulletproof barriers to bulkheads, separating the pilot's cabin from the rest of the plane.’
    • ‘The aft compartment extended from the wing rear beam to a point forward of the aft pressure bulkhead of the fuselage.’
    • ‘As the students repair leaks from damaged bulkheads the hull can be progressively flooded with water and rolled through 20 degrees, just like a ship at sea.’
    • ‘Boeing changed their manufacturing process for landing gear bulkheads to take advantage of the high-speed machining.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Improper support can cause the hull to distort, causing cracked bulkheads, engine misalignment or broken stringers.’
    • ‘Along the bulkheads of the area once reserved for officer berthing, hang small plates engraved with the names of ships that have had shipboard fires - from World War I to the present.’
    • ‘I had assumed this to be from the deck above, but on reflection it could easily have been the bulkhead separating the stoke hold from the coal bunkers.’
    • ‘Certainly, Vincent and Ower's study of hedgehog and porcupine spines showed the efficiency of similar stringers and bulkheads at preventing local buckling in an otherwise hollow structure.’
    • ‘Vestibule bulkheads were attached inside the body and the end windows were blanked off A Cal-Scale tailgate was added to complete the car.’
    • ‘Eventually I settle for entering the aft hold and follow the propshaft tunnel forward to the engine-room bulkhead.’
    • ‘The frigates have a double-skinned hull divided by ten bulkheads into watertight compartments.’
    • ‘The pontoon's superstructure is divided by two longitudinal bulkheads into three functional sections.’
    • ‘For the most part, stringers could be copied from originals but bulkheads required a lot more work.’
    • ‘The fiberglass lay-up of the hull is substantial and is generally well, supported by fiberglass-encased stringers, frames and plywood bulkheads securely tabbed to the hull.’
    • ‘The engine room, its bulkheads and ballast tanks were flooded and its starboard decks were awash.’
    • ‘To their credit the builders have used bulkheads that are watertight between the hull and cabin soles to divide the boat into three separate compartments.’
    • ‘Three main fuel cells are installed aft of the cabin bulkhead and two feed cells are under the cabin floor.’


Late 15th century: from Old Norse bálkr ‘partition’ + head.