from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lever used to bend a crossbow
  • n. A steel spur attached to a gamecock
  • v. To seize
  • v. To steal
  • v. Gaffling is a planning technique for orienteering relay courses whereby individual routes are planned so as to vary slightly and to make following difficult. This means that the competition depends more on navigational skills rather than just physical ability. See British Orienteering Federation's Event Guideline F for Relay Events, Section 3.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An artificial spur or gaff for gamecocks.
  • n. A lever to bend crossbows.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A portable fork of iron or wood in which the heavy musket formerly in use was rested that it might be accurately aimed and fired.
  • n. The steel lever by the aid of which crossbows were bent.
  • n. An artificial spur of steel put on a cock when it is set to fight.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Heard the word gaffle for the first time this morning when my husband said he "gaffled up" the two lambs and put them in a pen. He said his father(b 1911) used the word frequently.We are in rural Ontario. Family emigrated here from Palatinate Germany(1700s) via West of Ireland in 1850s.

    May 2, 2010