from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. two cannon balls united by a shot chain, formerly used in naval warfare on account of their destructive effect on a ship's rigging.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Two balls or halves of a ball connected by a chain, chiefly used in old naval ordnance to cut down the masts or spars of vessels or to destroy the shrouds and rigging. It is not used with modern ordnance. In heraldry it is represented in various fantastic ways. Also called chain-ball.


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