Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A frame composed of two strong oak timbers (bitt-heads) fixed vertically in the fore part of a ship, bolted to the deck beams to which are secured the cables when the ship rides to anchor

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. A frame of two strong timbers fixed perpendicularly in the fore part of a ship, on which to fasten the cables as the ship rides at anchor, or in warping. Other bitts are used for belaying (belaying bitts), for sustaining the windlass (carrick bitts, winch bitts, or windlass bitts), to hold the pawls of the windlass (pawl bitts) etc.

Etymologies

See reference. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "...roused out the best cable the Diane possessed, the most nearly new and unfrayed, a seventeen-inch cable that they turned end for end—no small undertaking in that confined space, since it weighed three and a half tons—and bent it to the best bower anchor by the wholly unworn end that had always been abaft the bitts: the bitter end. There was thought to be good luck attached to the bitter end, as well as greater strength."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 299

    See also bitt.

    March 5, 2008