from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of the small ropes fastened horizontally to the shrouds of a ship and forming a ladder for going aloft.
- n. The material used for these ropes.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of the cross ropes between the shrouds, which form a net like ropework, allowing sailors to climb up towards the top of the mast.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Nautical, one of a series of small ropes or lines which traverse the shrouds horizontally, thus forming the steps of ladders for going aloft.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (nautical) a small horizontal rope between the shrouds of a sailing ship; they form a ladder for climbing aloft
Middle English rathelinge (line), wattling, ratline (cord).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)