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

  • n. One of the curved timbers that forms a rib in the frame of a ship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the curved timbers that form the ribs of a ship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the crooked timbers which are scarfed together to form the lower part of the compound rib of a vessel; one of the crooked transverse timbers passing across and over the keel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of the timbers of the frame of a ship above the floor-timbers and below the top-timbers.


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

Middle English fottek, perhaps alteration of fothok : fot, foot; see foot + hok, hook; see hook.


  • These, like the channels for the lower rigging, are mere projections or out-riggers; the true point of support for the topmast rigging is the lower shrouds, the connection being made by what are called futtock shrouds and catharpins.

    The Lieutenant and Commander

  • One is by going along some ropes, called the futtock shrouds, when one hangs very much as a fly does crawling along the ceiling.

    My First Cruise and Other stories

  • To take the pull off the tops, the shrouds are continued round to the mast as "futtock" shrouds, on the same principle as the foretopmast-stay finds its continuation in the bobstay.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891

  • Yet, excepting the watch, he kept every man so busy as might be, some bringing weed to keep up a fire which he had lit near the boat; one to help him turn and hold the batten upon which he laboured; and two he sent across to the wreck of the mast, to detach one of the futtock shrouds, which (as is most rare) were made of iron rods.

    The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'

  • The light from my lantern seemed no more than a sickly yellow glow against the gloom, and higher, some forty or fifty feet, and a few ratlines below the futtock rigging on the starboard side, there was another glow of yellowness in the night.

    The Ghost Pirates

  • Higher, I saw the Second Mate in the futtock rigging, holding his light up over the edge of the top.

    The Ghost Pirates

  • Then I was in the futtock rigging, and a moment afterwards, standing in the top, beside the Old Man.

    The Ghost Pirates

  • He reached the futtock rigging, and stopped to expectorate.

    The Ghost Pirates

  • He ignored them and clambered over the side of the ship, descending by the futtock shrouds, hurling curses while the cat continued to beleaguer his head and shoulders.

    City of Glory

  • Then, a week after they had turned north, on a day when the sea was frustratingly calm and the wind fitful, Sharpe decided to attempt the futtock shrouds and so show that a soldier could do what any Midshipman made look simple.

    Sharpe's Trafalgar


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  • (another usage on futtock-shroud, and grumlin-futtocks... and unshroud thy futtock!)

    September 6, 2008

  • He fell from the starboard futtock shrouds, and, not knowing how to swim, and being heavily dressed, with all those things round his neck, he probably sank immediately.

    - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast, ch. 6

    September 6, 2008