Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Hanging at the cathead, ready to let go, as an anchor.
  • adv. Topped up; having one yardarm higher than the other.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Hanging at the cathead, ready to let go, as an anchor.
  • adv. Topped up; having one yardarm higher than the other.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Nautical, with the ends pointing upward.

Etymologies

Prefix a- + cock + bill: with bills cocked up. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Martin himself supervised them, and also ordered the sails set in counterpoise to each other, so that the ship would be as perfectly still as possible. Then he called out, "Top gallant yards, acock bill," an order that sent men scurrying up the rigging."
    A Burial at Sea by Charles Finch, p 95

    January 4, 2012