American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
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.
- n. nautical 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.
- 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)
“Do you have any reason for thinking any kind of ratline is necessary for former commie criminals to get into the US?”
“With this in mind, will the Syrian "ratline" become largely exterminated?”
“A sailor, in the main rigging, carried away a ratline in both hands, fell head-downward, and was clutched by an ankle and saved head-downward by a comrade, as the schooner cracked and shuddered, uplifted on the port side, and was flung down on her starboard side till the ocean poured level over her rail.”
“We should have learned about ratlines long ago, from hard experience -- the Ho Chi Minh Trail was the biggest ratline of them all, a bustling ant trail through the jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia swarming with men and women on foot, on bicycles, in battered Chinese-made trucks, delivering fresh troops and war supplies to the south.”
“Her foot caught in a ratline, jerking her to a nasty halt.”
““Pretty smug, for a bum-rag,” Deryn muttered, snapping her clip back onto a ratline.”
“They've taken a lot of hits from the U.S. especially the U.S. military saying they're not doing enough to stop these so-called ratline.”
“Then, with my right, I could reach to the forrard shroud, over his right shoulder, and having got a grip, I shifted my left to a level with it; at the same moment, I was able to get my foot on to the splice of a ratline and so give myself a further lift.”
“Despite the fact that the line was ice-covered and blowing in the snow and despite the fact that Thomas Blanky could no longer feel the fingers on his right hand, he climbed the ratline like a fourteen-year-old midshipman larking in the upperworks with the other ship's boys after supper on a tropical evening.”
“He couldn't pull himself onto the top spar — it was simply too coated with ice — but he found the shroud lines there and shifted from the ratline to the loosened, folded shroud beneath the spar.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘ratline’.
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I'm wading through Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels one by one, and someday, I'll wade through them again and list all the words I learned while reading them.
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Words and phrase from Scott Lynch's book, Red Seas Under Red Skies.
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