Definition of taffrail in English:



  • A rail and ornamentation around a ship's stern.

    • ‘Pamela was not sitting on the deck, but she was standing near the taffrail looking off the stern.’
    • ‘As soon as they passed the helmsman, he pulled her to the taffrail.’
    • ‘Hands quickly reached for taffrails, stanchions, ratlines or some sort of support, and, a moment later, Raven spun the wheel with all her strength to the right until the helm was hard over.’
    • ‘He listened to his steps retreat to the taffrail.’
    • ‘He noted Kennedy at the taffrail looking back towards whence they had come.’


Early 19th century: alteration (by association with rail) of obsolete tafferel panel used to denote the flat part of a ship's stern above the transom, from Dutch tafereel.