from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A block or wedge placed under something else, such as a wheel, to keep it from moving.
  • noun Nautical A heavy fitting of metal or wood with two jaws curving inward, through which a rope or cable may be run.
  • transitive verb To fit with or secure by a chock.
  • transitive verb Nautical To place (a boat) on chocks.
  • adverb As close as possible.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • An obsolete variant of shock.
  • To throw with a quick motion; toss; pitch: same as chuck, 2.
  • To check the motion of, as by a chock.
  • noun A block or piece of wood or other material, more or less wedge-shaped when specially prepared, used to prevent movement, as by insertion behind the props of a ship's cradle, under the sides of a boat on deck, under the wheels of a carriage, etc.—
  • noun In ship-building, a block of approximately triangular shape, used to unite the head and heel of consecutive timbers.—
  • noun Nautical, a block having hornshaped projections extending partly over a recess in the middle, in which a cable or hawser is placed while being hauled in or on: called distinctively a warping-chock.
  • noun In coal-mining, a pillar built of short square blocks of wood from 2½ to 6 feet long, laid crosswise, two and two, so as to form a strong support for the roof: used especially in long-wall working.
  • Nautical, to secure by putting a chock into or under: as, to chock the timbers of a ship; to chock a cask.
  • To fill up a cavity like a chock.
  • noun A block of wood, especially one for burning. See chuck, 1.
  • noun A thick unsawed block of wood. See chock and log.
  • noun plural Blocks of wood or stone placed on a harrow, roller, or other machine to give it weight or steadiness.
  • noun In turnery, same as chuck, 5.
  • noun A rut-like hole in a road.
  • A variant of choke.
  • Entirely; fully; as far as possible: used in the nautical phrases chock aft, chock home, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A wedge, or block made to fit in any space which it is desired to fill, esp. something to steady a cask or other body, or prevent it from moving, by fitting into the space around or beneath it.
  • noun (Naut.) A heavy casting of metal, usually fixed near the gunwale. It has two short horn-shaped arms curving inward, between which ropes or hawsers may pass for towing, mooring, etc.
  • transitive verb obsolete To encounter.
  • noun obsolete An encounter.
  • adverb (Naut.) Entirely; quite.
  • intransitive verb To fill up, as a cavity.
  • transitive verb To stop or fasten, as with a wedge, or block; to scotch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete An encounter.
  • noun Any wooden block used as a wedge or filler
  • noun nautical Any fitting or fixture used to restrict movement, especially movement of a line; traditionally was a fixture near a bulwark with two horns pointing towards each other, with a gap between where the line can be inserted.
  • noun Blocks made of either wood, plastic or metal, used to keep a parked aircraft in position.
  • verb To stop or fasten, as with a wedge, or block; to scotch.
  • verb nautical To insert a line in a chock.

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

  • verb support on chocks
  • adverb as completely as possible
  • noun a block of wood used to prevent the sliding or rolling of a heavy object
  • verb secure with chocks


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

[Possibly from Old North French choque, log, from Gaulish *tsukka, stump, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman choque (compare modern Norman chouque), from Gaulish *śokka (compare Breton soc’h ("thick"), Old Irish tócht ("part, piece")).


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  • Good word...I wonder if I should just admire it a while before I steal it...chock about chock-a-block.

    July 12, 2007

  • Take it--community property here. :-)

    July 12, 2007

  • Okay--thanks. I owe you a bunch.

    July 12, 2007

  • Nah. Just put in a good word for me now & then. ;->

    July 12, 2007

  • Ha, ha, ha. You are quick.

    July 12, 2007

  • Only after my morning hit of caffeine.

    July 12, 2007

  • Okay, more coffee! It is still morning here.

    July 12, 2007

  • Not here--it's (late) lunchtime. :-)

    July 12, 2007

  • "'You must always come up through the hole for the first seven times,' he said. 'To be sure, it looks lubberly, but seven times is the law. You will very soon get used to laying aloft, and after those holy seven times you will use the futtock-shrouds without thinking about it. Now let me show you the things in the top...' This he did from the top-maul to the fid, fid-plate, bolster, and chock."

    --Patrick O'Brian, Blue at the Mizzen, 92

    March 27, 2008

  • With great difficulty we got all the hides aboard and stowed under hatches, the yard and stay tackles hooked on, and the launch and pinnace hoisted, chocked, and griped.

    - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast, ch. 24

    By "griped", does he mean gripped?

    September 9, 2008

  • Yarb: I don't think so. I looked for gripe in A Sea of Words and found this: "A vessel is said to gripe when she tends to come up into the wind when sailing close-hauled. Also, the lashing used to secure a boat in its place on the deck of a ship. The piece of timber terminating the keel at the forward extremity, also called the 'forefoot.'" (221)

    I think these are three definitions disguised as one, but it seems like the second of these might fit your quotation.

    October 15, 2008