Definitions

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

  • n. A hole through the platform surrounding the upper part of a ship's mast, through which one may climb to go aloft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hole through the platform surrounding the upper part of a ship's mast, through which one may climb to go aloft.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a hole in the floor of the “top,” next the mast, through which sailors may go aloft without going over the rim by the futtock shrouds. It is considered by seamen as only fit to be used by lubbers.

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

  • n. hole in a platform on a mast through which a sailor can climb without going out on the shrouds

Etymologies

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  • "A hold in the ship's top by the mast offering an easier and less risky way to ascend or descend than by climbing the futtock-shrouds, the route taken by seasoned sailors." So saith A Sea of Words.

    "...the Surprise was the only ship he had ever known in which both the doctors went aloft without using the lubber's hole."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 232

    March 9, 2008