from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rope by which a yarn-stoppered sail is loosened without its being necessary to send men aloft.


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  • "'How I do loathe unpunctuality,' said Captain Aubrey. 'Even by land. Forward there: belay that smiting-line.' This last was delivered in a voice so strong that it echoed from the walls of Noman's Land Fort, and the words 'that smiting-line' mingled faintly with his next remark, which was addressed to his wife..."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 24

    February 11, 2008