from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small ring or grommet of rope or metal fastened to the edge of a sail.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ring or circular bend, as of a rope. Specifically— Nautical, a strand of rope so worked into the bolt-rope of a sail as to form a ring or eye. Cringles are named according to the purpose for which they are intended: as, head-cringles, which are placed at the upper corners of the sail, for lashing them to the yards; reef-cringles, on the leeches of the sail, for passing the reef-earings through.
  • noun A withe or rope for fastening a gate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A withe for fastening a gate.
  • noun (Naut.) An iron or pope thimble or grommet worked into or attached to the edges and corners of a sail; -- usually in the plural. The cringles are used for making fast the bowline bridles, earings, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical A short piece of rope, arranged as a grommet around a metal ring, used to attach tackle to a sail etc.
  • noun A withe for fastening a gate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun fastener consisting of a metal ring for lining a small hole to permit the attachment of cords or lines


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

[Low German kringel, diminutive of kring, ring, from Middle Low German.]


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  • Tom nodded his head, understanding what the captain meant in a jiffey; and, with the help of two or three others, a piece of fearnought, that lay in the bottom of the long-boat, was quickly bundled out on the deck and dragged forwards, the men bending on a rope's-end to a cringle worked in one corner of the stuff, so as to hoist it up by.

    The Island Treasure 1887

  • Somebody unhooked the throat-halliard block, and thought he had hooked it into the head-cringle of the trysail, and sang out to hoist away, but he had missed it in the dark, and the heavy block went flying into the lee rigging, and nearly killed him when it swung back with the weather roll.

    Man Overboard! 1881

  • On each side of the sail, at the end of each reef band, was a cringle, or eye, in which the reef pendent was fastened.

    Outward Bound Or, Young America Afloat Oliver Optic 1859

  • An active young topman, whom Charles had seen just before laughing and joking with his shipmates, was on the lee-yardarm; while, with earing in hand, he was passing the point through the cringle, the ship gave a heavy lurch, he lost his hold, and was jerked off the yard.

    The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader And what befell their Passengers and Crews. William Henry Giles Kingston 1847


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  • "...until the ship steadied on her new course, and Rowan's voice could be heard again crying 'Davis, do for God's sake leave the damned thing alone,' since every time the Surprise came about and braced her yards sharp up, Davis would give her foretopsail bowline an extra swig-off for what he considered smartness; and being a horribly powerful man with poor coordination he would sometimes pluck the bridle bodily out of the cringles."

    —Patrick O'Brian, Treason's Harbour, 268

    February 19, 2008

  • "... a small hole formed in the bolt-rope of a sail, by intertwisting the strand of a rope alternately round itself, and through the strands of the bolt-rope, till it becomes three-fold, and assumes the shape of a ring.... The use of cringles is generally to receive the ends of ropes, which are fastened to them for the purpose of drawing up the sail to its yard, or of extending the leech by the bowline bridles, &c...."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 111

    October 13, 2008

  • When a tar and a lady co-mingle

    The overture's most likely lingual.

    He's adept at unlacing

    For further embracing -

    A dab hand at clearing a cringle.

    June 22, 2015