American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. Nautical To discipline by dragging under the keel of a ship.
- v. To rebuke harshly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To haul under the keel of a ship. Keelhauling was formerly a punishment inflicted in the English and other navies for certain offenses. The offender was drawn through the water under the bottom of the ship, and back on board on the opposite side, by ropes and tackles attached to the yards.
- Figuratively, to reprimand severely; haul over the coals. Also keelrake.
- v. transitive (nautical) To punish by dragging under the keel of a ship.
- v. transitive To rebuke harshly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. (Naut.) To haul under the keel of a ship, by ropes attached to the yardarms on each side. It was formerly practiced as a punishment in the Dutch and English navies.
- Alteration (influenced by keel1 and haul) of Dutch kielhalen : kiel, keel of a ship (from Middle Dutch) + halen, to haul (from Middle Dutch). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A keelhaul drop meant sliding down a cable to the ground.”
“She had only a few hours to learn how to use a diving apparatus, how to keelhaul drop onto solid stone, and how to handle acid-spitting barnacles!”
“She nodded, wishing that it was something piffling like a keelhaul drop that had her jittery.”
“They had to make it down the peninsula before sunset, or her landing party would be keelhaul dropping in the dark.”
“For the head of Starfleet to have come all the way from Earth, this was not likely to be a typical reprimand—perhaps he planned to personally keelhaul him.”
“Yet these are nits to pick in the overall stunning accomplishment that Abrams has pulled off in his desire not so much to keelhaul the Enterprise as to give it a brand-spanking-new coat of studio paint, polished off with the love that a sailor has for his favorite boat.”
“Just as Bligh was willing and eager to flog, keelhaul and starve any human being who stood in the way of his career, so our bourgeoisie will flog, keelhaul and starve the national interest "" with every slum-dweller, rickshawpuller and day-labourer as victim "" in the promotion of their own self-interest.”
“The idea was to take inner-city kids with “issues,” put them to sea in an old tea clipper, and make them splice the main brace and keelhaul and that sort of thing until they discovered self-worth and gave up shoplifting.”
“Needless to say, however, the students I expected to keelhaul me were the students who gave me by far the best scores of both the semester and the year.”
“While writing this column, a word came into my mind that sounded like Kelo, and that was “keelhaul”.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘keelhaul’.
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