Definitions

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

  • noun The forward part of a ship's prow.
  • noun The wedge-shaped end of a bridge pier, designed to divide the current and break up ice floes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The fore part of a ship's prow, which cuts the water. Also called false stem.
  • noun The lower portion of the pier of a bridge, formed with an angle or edge directed up the stream, so as more effectually to resist the action of the water, ice, etc.
  • noun The razorbill, or black skimmer, Rhynchops nigra.

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

  • noun (Naut.) The fore part of a ship's prow, which cuts the water.
  • noun A starling or other structure attached to the pier of a bridge, with an angle or edge directed up stream, in order better to resist the action of water, ice, etc.; the sharpened upper end of the pier itself.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A sea bird of the Atlantic (Rhynchops nigra); -- called also black skimmer, scissorsbill, and razorbill. See Skimmer.

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

  • noun nautical The forward curve of the stem of a ship
  • noun the wedge of a bridge pier, that resists the flow of water and ice.
  • noun a black skimmer; a sea bird of the species Rhynchops niger, that flies low over the sea, "cutting" the water surface with its lower mandible to catch small fish.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • It was deep water, and a slight ripple under what might be termed the cutwater of the tree indicated a movement.

    The Lake Gun

  • a makeshift devised when proper caulking is impossible; cutwater, which is not only a bird but the bow of a ship, or a rope or cable in front of it, or a construction on the upstream side of a bridge; and halyard, the rope that hauls up a sail -- sails having been attached to yardarms when ships were square-rigged.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 1

  • In the stern the motor chugged on easily; at the bows I heard the tinkling ripple from the cutwater.

    Movie Night

  • The cutwater crushed, the bowsprit sundered, decks awash with blood.

    DANCING ON AIR

  • The head is strongly drawn over [backwards] and arched down like a cutwater [drawing itself back from the line of the keel].

    Wildwood

  • The head is strongly drawn over [backwards] and arched down like a cutwater [drawing itself back from the line of the keel].

    Wildwood

  • V – shaped nick in the face of the floe, the slope her cutwater often causing her bows to rise till nearly clear of the water, when she would slide backwards, rolling slightly.

    South: the story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914–1917

  • He hoisted himself onto the cutwater, and by the bowsprit arrived at the forecastle.

    The Mysterious Island

  • He took breath, then, hoisting himself up, he managed to reach the extremity of the cutwater.

    The Mysterious Island

  • He hoisted himself onto the cutwater, and by the bowsprit arrived at the forecastle.

    The Mysterious Island

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • . . . he felt that he was looking upon a figurehead in a museum, which though static, no longer roosting on its cutwater, seemed yet to be going against the wind . . .

    —Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

    November 19, 2008