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

  • noun 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.
  • noun The crank used to give motion to a grindstone or similar device.
  • transitive verb To move with or as if with a winch.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hoist or haul by means of a winch.
  • noun An obsolete or dialectal form of wince.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The reel of a fishing-rod.
  • noun Same as wince.

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

  • intransitive verb To wince; to shrink; to kick with impatience or uneasiness.
  • noun A kick, as of a beast, from impatience or uneasiness.
  • noun A crank with a handle, for giving motion to a machine, a grindstone, etc.
  • noun An instrument with which to turn or strain something forcibly.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A wince.

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

  • noun 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.
  • noun nautical A hoisting machine used for loading or discharging cargo, or for hauling in lines. (FM 55-501).
  • noun A wince (machine used in dyeing or steeping cloth).
  • verb To use a winch

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

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


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

[Middle English winche, pulley, from Old English wince, reel, roller.]



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

    December 26, 2007

  • The Mammuthus, winched from the permafrost...

    - Peter Reading, Finds, from Diplopic, 1983

    June 30, 2008