Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A round, flattish, wooden block, encircled by a rope, or an iron band, and pierced with three holes to receive the lanyard; -- used to extend the shrouds and stays, and for other purposes. Called also deadman's eye.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, a round, laterally flattened wooden block, encircled by a rope or an iron band, and pierced with three holes to receive the lanyard, used to extend the shrouds and stays, and for other purposes.
  • n. In mech., a bearing made in a solid piece, and not split into halves or provided for taking up wear: used mostly in cheap and temporary work.

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

  • n. (nautical) a round hardwood disk with holes and a grooved perimeter used to tighten a shroud
  • n. a dead shot

Etymologies

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  • "...counting the slips that would enable the officers in charge of the base to revictual and refit the squadron with all the astonishing variety of objects it might need, from musket-flints to dead-eyes, hearts and euphroes."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Hundred Days, 76

    "A flat round wooden block with three holes through which a lanyard is rove, used for extending the shrouds. Also, the triangular blocks with one large hole, usually called hearts, used for extending the stays." (A Sea of Words, 168)

    March 20, 2008