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

  • n. Variants of boatswain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A warrant or petty officer on board a naval ship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a petty officer on a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen.

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

  • n. a petty officer on a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen
  • n. a petty officer on a merchant ship who controls the work of other seamen


Contraction of boatswain. (Wiktionary)


  • The boat - stretcher caught him fairly on the nose -- it was the bo's'n -- and the mutiny began.


  • Others of importance aboard were Carney, chief engineer; Tompkins, bo's'n;

    The Boy Allies with Uncle Sam's Cruisers

  • He turned his eyes painfully to look and beheld the dark, bearded visage of George Dunkin, the bo's'n, who scowled angrily and kicked him in the ribs with a heavy toe.

    The Black Buccaneer

  • The bo's'n, a grizzled veteran of many sea-fights, was kneeling beside his Captain with an ear to his side.

    The Black Buccaneer

  • Since his lieutenancy aboard the prize-sloop, however, the bo's'n had necessarily ceased to be the executive of punishment, and when Monday, recognized on all the seas as whipping day, came around, there was a very secret hope in Jeremy's heart that the office would be forgotten.

    The Black Buccaneer

  • As bo's'n, it was not only his right but his duty to lay in with a rope's end occasionally.

    The Black Buccaneer

  • And now you want the bo's'n to jump him and throw him overboard.

    Chapter 6

  • You never got them in the fight in the longboat when the bo's'n carved you up.

    Chapter 13

  • Suddenly he was surprised to see old Aaron Halyard, the bo's'n, come over the top of the hill, leaning on his cane.

    The Voyage of the Hoppergrass

  • These were Black Pedro himself, slightly wounded in the leg, but still able to walk, and old Aaron Halyard, the bo's'n.

    The Voyage of the Hoppergrass

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