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

  • noun An opening in the bow of a ship through which a cable or hawser is passed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A cylindrical hole in the bow of a ship through which a cable is passed.

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

  • noun a hole in the bow of a ship, through which the anchor rope or cable passes.

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

  • noun nautical The hole through which a ship's anchor rope is passed.

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

  • noun the hole that an anchor rope passes through


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • At last she stopped; at last the cable rattled through the hawsehole; and then, careless of the chance of lurking Spaniard or

    Westward Ho!

  • Her brother snapped his safety harness to the lifeline, stepped out of the hawsehole and ran down the slope of the rescue line toward Resolute .

    Rescue Ferrets at Sea

  • But like a circus ferret on the high wire, in the glare of searchlights and rocket flares, her brother darted ahead, stopped, darted ahead again, until he reached the hawsehole and the sea rats hauled him inside.

    Rescue Ferrets at Sea

  • If the water reaches B deck, we may lose the ship, and I want you all to get forward to the chain locker, up the anchor chain to the hawsehole, and hold on tight.

    Rescue Ferrets at Sea

  • “Then we jump from the hawsehole and we swim for it.”

    Rescue Ferrets at Sea

  • Lay them on the hawsehole, forward, by the sea rats.

    Rescue Ferrets at Sea

  • Vincent met his sister at the hawsehole, astonished that she would leave the bridge in the midst of . . .

    Rescue Ferrets at Sea

  • The pumping party was working its way down the row of bigger ships, but none of the Danes noticed the three men drop through the Christian VII's hawsehole onto the quay.

    Sharpe's Prey

  • Thirty other seamen came to the lower deck and shipped the capstan bars, then began to trudge around and around, inching up the great anchor cable that came through the hawsehole, along the lower deck and down into the ship's belly.

    Sharpe's Trafalgar

  • From this it fell out we were the only passengers; the Captain, McMurtrie, was a silent, absorbed man, with the Glascow or Gaelic accent; the mates ignorant rough seafarers, come in through the hawsehole; and the Master and I were cast upon each other’s company.

    Mr. Mackellar’s Journey with the Master


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  • "'Mr Pullings,' he asked in the silence, 'Is the anchor a-cockbill?'

    "'Yes, sir: with a spring from right aft.'

    "'Then let it be lowered inch by inch to the hawsehole: then we can let it go without a splash...'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 190

    February 29, 2008