from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of capstan.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • So we put in the hard infrastructure that provides the clean water – the bores, the big gravity fed water tanks, the capstans and the pipes.

    Oxfam Brings Clean Water, Sanitation to Somali Refugees

  • They were hoisting the mizzen-upper-topsail-yard by means of one of the patent deck-capstans.


  • Poor Sundry Buyers continually pressed his abdomen as he toiled around the deck-capstans; and never was Nancy's face quite so forlorn as when he obeyed the Maltese Cockney's command and went up to loose the mizzen-skysail.


  • The capstans in his flight suit inflated with a whoosh to compensate for the loss of cabin pressure, preventing his blood vessels from bursting.

    The U-2 spy plane fiasco

  • The long flat beach, with its little irregular houses, wooden and brick, and its litter of capstans, and great boats, and sheds, and bare upright poles with tackle and blocks, and loose gravelly waste places overgrown with grass and weeds, wore as dull an appearance as any place I ever saw.

    Bleak House

  • Boats are hauled up upon it, ropes are coiled all over it; lobster-pots, nets, masts, oars, spars, sails, ballast, and rickety capstans, make a perfect labyrinth of it.

    Reprinted Pieces

  • On the beach, among the rough buggers and capstans, groups of storm-beaten boatmen, like a sort of marine monsters, watched under the lee of those objects, or stood leaning forward against the wind, looking out through battered spy-glasses.

    Reprinted Pieces

  • The pier was musical with the wash of the sea, the creaking of capstans and windlasses, and the airy fluttering of little vanes and sails.

    A Message from the Sea

  • The little boy slept on calmly still, in spite of all the din and uproar, the song and the shout, the tramp of heavy feet, the creaking of capstans, and the thump of bulky oars, and the crush of ponderous rollers.

    Mary Anerley

  • Their construction required learned calculations; the wood selected had to be of the hardest substance, and their gearing all of brass; they were stretched with levers, tackle-blocks, capstans or tympanums; the direction of the shooting was changed by means of strong pivots; they were moved forward on cylinders, and the most considerable of them, which were brought piece by piece, were set up in front of the enemy.



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