Definitions

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

  • n. A descent of a vertical surface, as a cliff or wall, by sliding down a belayed rope that is passed under one thigh and over the opposite shoulder or through a device that provides friction, typically while facing the surface and performing a series of short backward leaps to control the descent.
  • intransitive v. To descend from a steep height by this method.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Descending by means of a rope, abseiling.
  • v. to call back a hawk
  • v. to abseil
  • n. The beat of the drum to call soldiers to arms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The beat of the drum to call soldiers to arms.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The roll or beat of the drum to call soldiers to arms.
  • n. An ancient musical instrument, still used in Egypt, consisting of a ring to which are attached small bells or metal plates, forming a sort of rattle.

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

  • v. lower oneself with a rope coiled around the body from a mountainside
  • n. (mountaineering) a descent of a vertical cliff or wall made by using a doubled rope that is fixed to a higher point and wrapped around the body

Etymologies

French, recall, return, rappel, from Old French, recall, from rapeler, to recall : re-, re- + apeler, to summon; see appeal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French rappeler ("to pull through (a rope)") (Wiktionary)
French. Compare repeal. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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