Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various small, elongated fishes of the family Pholidae, common in the tidal pools and coastal waters of northern seas.
  • n. Variant of gunwale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of gunwale.
  • n. A small eel-shaped marine fish of the genus Muraenoides, especially Muraaenoides gunnellus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A gunwale.
  • n. A small, eel-shaped, marine fish of the genus Murænoides; esp., M. gunnellus of Europe and America; -- called also gunnel fish, butterfish, rock eel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See gunwale.
  • n. A name of the elongate blennies, found on the rocky coasts of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, belonging to the genus Pholis. The best-known of these fishes in the North Atlantic is P. gunnellus.

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

  • n. wale at the top of the side of boat; topmost planking of a wooden vessel
  • n. small eellike fishes common in shallow waters of the northern Atlantic

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Course we did have no seein 'glass on her, but all that showed above the gunnel was a piece of reed mat.

    Web Of The Witch World

  • There were not nearly enough boats to take the crowd across if they crossed back and forth all day, so my mother, Eliza, improvised a boat or 'gunnel', as the craft was called, by placing a wooden soap box on top of a long pole, then she pulled off her shoes and, taking two of us small children in her arms, she paddled with her feet and put us safely across the stream.

    Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Indiana Narratives

  • It is super stable and I can stand on the gunnel loaded with gear and it only leans a bit.

    Canoe vs Jon-Boat? Which one would be better for all around use?

  • My brother, the guide and I spent the remainder of the crossing at gunnel level.

    Mark Steinberg: Shutout at The Pas

  • Just as his boat begins to slide backward and disappear beneath the surface, Harry leaps forward and with a splash grabs the gunnel of my skiff, nearly tipping it over.

    Boot Camp

  • Moments later I slow down and ease the boat beside a dock, then reach over the gunnel and steady it so Pauly can help Sarah climb out.

    Boot Camp

  • Ed poled the boat up to where my leader vanished straight down past the gunnel.

    Fool’s Paradise

  • Easing slowly closer, breaking the courtesy rule of not going near another guy fishing, I saw a leg appear above the gunnel.

    Don't Try Fishing for Our

  • Here, whilst some stretched the canvas, nailing its lower edges to the gunnel, others were employed in lashing together the oars and the mast, and to this bundle they secured a considerable length of new three-and-a-half-inch hemp rope, which we had brought away from the hulk along with the canvas.

    The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'

  • And so for the space of maybe a full minute the boat quivered and shook most vilely, so that she seemed like to have been shaken in pieces, and from a dozen places between the gunnel and the covering canvas, the water spurted in upon us.

    The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'

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Comments

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  • It's also a rather common name (among women in their sixties) in Sweden...

    July 30, 2012

  • Judgeing from the tweets I wasn't the only person surprised to read the BBC rendering gunnel instead of gunwale in its reporting of Coe's comment.

    July 30, 2012

  • Elongate blennies!

    July 30, 2012