Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a set of lines on the hull of a merchant ship that indicate the depth to which it may be legally loaded under specified conditions. Also called load line, Plimsoll line.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. properly the International Load Line, a mark on the hull of a merchant ship to show the waterline under specified conditions. The line shows the maximum capacity load the ship may carry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. waterlines to show the level the water should reach when the ship is properly loaded

Etymologies

After Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898), British merchant and shipping reformer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Samuel Plimsoll, Bristol merchant and member of Parliament, promoter of the Merchant Shipping Act. (Wiktionary)

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