American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Nautical The upper edge of the side of a vessel.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Nautical, the upper edge of a ship's side; the uppermost wale of a ship, or that piece of timber which reaches on either side from the quarterdeck to the forecastle, being the uppermost bend which finishes the upper works of the hull. The gunwale of a boat is a piece of timber going round the upper sheer strake as a binder for its top-work.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Naut.) The upper edge of a vessel's or boat's side; the uppermost wale of a ship (not including the bulwarks); or that piece of timber which reaches on either side from the quarter-deck to the forecastle, being the uppermost bend, which finishes the upper works of the hull.
- n. wale at the top of the side of boat; topmost planking of a wooden vessel
- From Middle English gonnewalle, itself from gonne 'gun' + wale, as it used to support the ship's guns (Wiktionary)
- So called because guns were mounted on it. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“For the upper edges of the sides, called the gunwale (B, B), similar stringers were provided, but they extended farther fore and aft, and amidships were fully six and a half feet apart, whereas the lower stringers amidships were four and a half feet apart.”
“This rod forms the gunwale, which is secured by strings to the ribs.”
“For example, "gunwale" (the small walkway along the side of a boat) is pronounced "gunnel".”
“Alvaro was placed precariously on the truck's gunwale, where he angrily insisted that the driver turn the truck around and go back for his hat.”
“It is at its best when he is describing natural phenomena, from the insect trill which is "like some great tinnitus", through the "black fists" of bats, swooping and darting, to the beetle which runs along the gunwale of a pirogue, "dense, heavy armoured, a brutal tank on tiny legs".”
“When her front legs are over the gunwale, apply a bit of downward pressure to give her enough leverage to hop in.”
“I remember being so enthralled by one scene, where the sailors were trying to capture a seabird that had landed on the gunwale, that I almost shouted at my sister, who came into the room just then, Shut up!”
“But on this night, waiting for the dew, a little of it, to become more, on the surfaces that were mine, I heard the noises of a dew-lapper moving aft along the port - gunwale -- which was my property aft of the stroke-thwart clear to the stern.”
“One fair-haired invader lay across the gunwale of a boat, the manner of his death told by the arrow that transfixed his breast.”
“Again he got the helpless man's head and shoulders on the gunwale.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘gunwale’.
Some more words for intermediate and advanced spellers.
All words of the poem
by Gerard Nolst Trenité
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse <...
in honor of corduroy
Inspired to publicity by the conversation at segway. Thanks, pals!
Nice ambient words from the movie. (With apologies to Patrick O'Brian.) Aaaah, life at sea...aboard a hulk of the British navy in 1805...
Temporary list is temporary.
Collecting a few words here, which are then to be alloted to other lists.
New words for my vocabulary
Words and phrases from Scott Lynch's book, The Lies of Locke Lamora
Words and phrase from Scott Lynch's book, Red Seas Under Red Skies.
Looking for tweets for gunwale.