from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of crosstree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pieces of timber at a masthead, to which are attached the upper shrouds. At the head of lower masts in large vessels, they support a semicircular platform called the “top.”


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He managed to get underneath the crosstrees, and there he froze to the ratlines.


  • It was a dry storm in the matter of rain, but the force of the wind filled the air with fine spray, which flew as high as the crosstrees and cut the face like a knife, making it impossible to see over a hundred yards ahead.

    Story of a Typhoon off the Coast of Japan

  • And, halfway to the crosstrees and flattened against the rigging by the full force of the wind so that it would have been impossible for me to have fallen, the Ghost almost on her beam-ends and the masts parallel with the water, I looked, not down, but at almost right angles from the perpendicular, to the deck of the Ghost.

    Chapter 17

  • I contested myself with the fore crosstrees, some seventy feet above the deck.

    Chapter 17

  • Steering I picked up easily, but running aloft to the crosstrees and swinging my whole weight by my arms when I left the ratlines and climbed still higher, was more difficult.

    Chapter 17

  • Then we raced, and wildly, across the wild sea, the while I hung like a fly in the crosstrees and searched for the other boats.

    Chapter 17

  • Half-a-dozen sailors swarmed to the crosstrees after him, where they clustered and waited while two of their number, Oofty-Oofty and Black

    Chapter 21

  • Then the three writhed together in a swaying tangle, struggling, sliding, and falling into the arms of their mates on the crosstrees.

    Chapter 21

  • Johnson seems to spend all his spare time there or aloft at the crosstrees, watching the Ghost cleaving the water under press of sail.

    Chapter 7

  • He clutched the line, which was attached to the crosstrees above his head.

    Aching for Always


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  • "The lookout, in the crosstrees he stood/With spyglass in his hand;/There's a whale, there's a whale,/And a whalefish he cried,/And she blows at every span..." -- "Greenland Whale Fisheries," traditional, arranged by the Pogues, c. 1985.

    February 6, 2007