Definitions

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

  • n. A board or ramp used as a removable footway between a ship and a pier. Also called gangway.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A board used as a temporary footbridge between a ship and a dockside

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a temporary bridge for getting on and off a vessel at dockside

Etymologies

From gang1, way (obsolete and dialectal).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From gang (“way, path, course of travel”) +‎ plank (“board”) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • First down the gangplank was an Irish teenager named Annie Moore who subsequently became the poster child for the immigrant dream in a nation of immigrants.

    Megan Smolenyak: 120 Years Ago: Ellis Island Opens Doors and Welcomes Annie Moore of Ireland

  • Standing at the top of the gangplank was the man that I was being kicked off the flight for.

    Non-Stop, Direct or just Not?

  • Actually, I don't know whether it's really called a gangplank or not.

    CapeCodToday Blog Chowder

  • A little later the houseboat was rubbing along the grassy bank, and the water was so deep close to shore that there was really no need of putting out the board, called the "gangplank," for any one to get off.

    The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat

  • They have everything in Myrtle Beach from dark and seedy rooms where older women walk a kind of gangplank through the barroom-clubs that don't even have signs out front-to elegant, softly lit marble-lined dreamscapes full of diaphanously-gowned young women.

    The Morning News

  • I grabbed the little bag with what clothes I had managed to pack and sprinted to the gangplank, hoping she wouldn't change her mind in disgust.

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • One showed Bob and Edie coming on board and standing at the top of the gangplank.

    Fatal Error

  • It's not the turbines and it's not the foundations that are the big problems, it's the weather, said Dave Armstrong, whose company North Sea Logistics runs 22 turbine-support ships, and whose hinged gangplank is one of the winning ideas.

    New offshore windfarm technologies in the battle against seasickness

  • He walked down the gangplank and he pretty much walked on his own and he was then taken off on a stretcher, an eye witness told the Boston Herald.

    Liverpool owner John Henry taken to hospital after fall on his boat

  • Wotan and other gods suggest the carelessly idle rich of pre-World War I: They drink champagne and romp up to Valhalla on a gangplank that could be leading to the disastrous Titanic.

    Ring Around the Obvious

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