Definitions

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

  • noun A short line attaching an upper corner of a sail to the yard.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The forming of ears of corn.
  • noun A small rope attached to the cringle of a sail, by which it is bent or reefed.
  • noun A plowing of land. See ear.

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

  • noun Coming into ear, as corn.
  • noun A line used to fasten the upper corners of a sail to the yard or gaff; -- also called head earing.
  • noun A line for hauling the reef cringle to the yard; -- also called reef earing.
  • noun A line fastening the corners of an awning to the rigging or stanchions.
  • noun Archaic A plowing of land.

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

  • noun nautical A line used to fasten the upper corners of a sail to the yard or gaff; also called head earing.
  • noun archaic A ploughing of land.

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps from ear.]

Examples

Comments

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

  • "'You and I and the Doctor must scrub ourselves from clew to earing and put on our birthday suits.'"

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 257

    "One of a number of small ropes that fasten the upper corner of a sail to the yard." —A Sea of Words, 184

    March 5, 2008

  • Citation on bunt.

    September 6, 2008

  • "Earings, in a ship, are certain small ropes, employed to fasten the upper corners of a sail to its respective yard; for which purpose one end of the earing is spliced to the cringle, fixed in that part of the sail, and the other end is passed six or seven times round the yardarm and through the cringle, thereby fastening the latter to the former.... Every reef on a yard has its respective earings, which are passed in the same manner...."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 129

    See also reef-earing.

    October 13, 2008

  • I arrived here after getting a clew.

    July 12, 2015