Definitions

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

  • noun A bar used as a lever.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bar, commonly of wood, used with the hand as a lever for various purposes, as in raising weights, moving guns, heaving about a windlass, etc.
  • To move by means of a handspike: as, to handspike a cannon into place.
  • To strike with a handspike.

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

  • noun A bar or lever, generally of wood, used in a windlass or capstan, for heaving anchor, and, in modified forms, for various purposes.

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

  • noun A bar or lever, generally of wood, used in a windlass or capstan, for heaving anchor, and, in modified forms, for various purposes.

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

  • noun a metal bar (or length of pipe) used as a lever

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of Dutch handspaak : hand, hand (from Middle Dutch hant) + spaak, spoke (from Middle Dutch spāke, stick).]

Examples

  • At his order, she threw her weight on the end of a quickly extemporized handspike, easing the pressure and listening to her husband's groans, while Malemute Kid attacked the tree with his axe.

    The White Silence

  • Hyped by the manufacturer as a "monstrous handspike" -- paging Dr. Freud -- that "will send your foes running in the other direction," the 17-inch gauntlet retails for $67.

    Wolverine: Not just a weapon, but an offensive one | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • It was a rude handspike and hardly equal to the work, for when she threw her weight upon the free end it bent and crackled.

    CHAPTER 24

  • At his order, she threw her weight on the end of a quickly extemporized handspike, easing the pressure and listening to her husband's groans, while Malemute Kid attacked the tree with his axe.

    THE WHITE SILENCE

  • He thrust a finger like a handspike towards Washington.

    THE NUMBERS

  • The prisoner, however, shortly detailed the real facts of the case, making use of his hands and fingers to show the relative positions of the log, branch and handspike.

    Ralph Rashleigh

  • All the gang, having now arrived at the scene of action, were quickly distributed to their several tasks; and Ralph and some others each obtained a wooden handspike, with which to roll out the trunks of trees or carry them upon to the fires for which they were designed.

    Ralph Rashleigh

  • Captain: You did not see this man throw a handspike at his overseer.

    Ralph Rashleigh

  • With his left hand — for he was as ambidexter as a brave writer of this age requires — he caught up a handspike, and hurled it so truly along the line of torches that only two were left to blink; with his right he flung the last bale upon the shelf; then leaped out after it, and hurried it away.

    Mary Anerley

  • Porter, whose courage was none of the fiercest, and who had been for years given over to that terror of discipline which servitude induces, made but a feeble attempt at resistance, and forcing the handspike from him, the sentry, Jones, rushed aft to help the pilot.

    For the term of his natural life

Comments

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  • "Be handy, boys, or it's handspike hash."

    —sea chanty whose title I forget right now

    See also hand-spike and/or merlin.

    October 9, 2008