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

  • n. A stationary motor-driven or hand-powered machine used for hoisting or hauling, having a drum around which is wound a rope or chain attached to the load being moved.
  • n. The crank used to give motion to a grindstone or similar device.
  • transitive v. To move with or as if with a winch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A machine consisting of a drum on an axle, a pawl, and a crank handle, with or without gearing, to give increased mechanical advantage when hauling on a rope.
  • n. A hoisting machine used for loading or discharging cargo, or for hauling in lines. (FM 55-501).
  • n. A wince (machine used in dyeing or steeping cloth).
  • v. To use a winch

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kick, as of a beast, from impatience or uneasiness.
  • n. A crank with a handle, for giving motion to a machine, a grindstone, etc.
  • n. An instrument with which to turn or strain something forcibly.
  • n. An axle or drum turned by a crank with a handle, or by power, for raising weights, as from the hold of a ship, from mines, etc.; a windlass.
  • n. A wince.
  • intransitive v. To wince; to shrink; to kick with impatience or uneasiness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hoist or haul by means of a winch.
  • n. The crank, projecting handle, or lever by which the axis of a revolving machine is turned, as in the common windlass, the grindstone, etc. See cut under Prony's dynamometer.
  • n. A kind of hoisting-machine or windlass, in which an axis is turned by means of a crank-handle, and a rope or chain is thus wound round it so as to raise a weight.
  • n. The reel of a fishing-rod.
  • n. Same as wince.
  • n. An obsolete or dialectal form of wince.

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

  • n. lifting device consisting of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank on which a cable or rope winds
  • v. pull or lift up with or as if with a winch


Middle English winche, pulley, from Old English wince, reel, roller.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The Mammuthus, winched from the permafrost...

    - Peter Reading, Finds, from Diplopic, 1983

    June 30, 2008

  • Scots - to be romantically involved with someone; to kiss and cuddle. Possibly derived from wench.

    December 26, 2007