from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The ornament rising above the stern of ancient ships.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Rom. Antiq.) An ornamental appendage of wood at the ship's stern, usually spreading like a fan and curved like a bird's feather.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun obsolete, nautical An
ornamental appendageof wood at the sternof a Roman ship, usually spreading like a fan and curved like a bird's feather.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Some linguists link fenestra with Gk. verb phainein “to show;” others see in it an Etruscan borrowing, based on the suffix -stra, as in L. loan-words aplustre “the carved stern of a ship with its ornaments,” genista “the plant broom,” lanista “trainer of gladiators.”
Lifting his eyes from the solarium set under the aplustre for reference in keeping the course, Arrius beheld the rower approaching.
At length he tossed the loosened folds of his toga in the air; in reply to the signal, over the aplustre, or fan-like fixture at the stern of the vessel, a scarlet flag was displayed; while several sailors appeared upon the bulwarks, and swung themselves hand over hand up the ropes to the antenna, or yard, and furled the sail.
The movement brought the stern to view, with all its garniture-Tritons like those at the bow; name in large raised letters; the rudder at the side; the elevated platform upon which the helmsman sat, a stately figure in full armour, his hand upon the rudder-rope; and the aplustre, high, gilt, carved, and bent over the helmsman like a great runcinate leaf.
As he stepped upon the bridge the trumpets sounded, and over the aplustre rose the vexillum purpureum, or pennant of a commander of a fleet.
About two hours later Arrius stood under the aplustre of the galley; in the mood of one who, seeing himself carried swiftly towards an event of mighty import, has nothing to do but wait-the mood in which philosophy vests an even-minded man with the utmost calm, and is ever so serviceable.
Over the stern, where the aplustre cast its shadow in ordinary crafts, there was a pavilion-like structure, high-raised, flat-roofed, and with small round windows in the sides.