Definitions

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

  • transitive v. Nautical To turn (a square-rigged ship) about on the heel by bracing the sails aback.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To bring a square-rigged ship onto a new tack by hauling back the foresails whilst steering hard round

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To put (a vessel) on the other tack by veering her short round on her heel; -- so called from the circumstance of bracing the head yards abox (i. e., sharp aback, on the wind).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • to veer (a ship) round on her heel when it is impracticable to tack.

Etymologies

box1, to confine, reverse + haul.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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