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abaka
    A fine vegetable fibre, with which the white manila rope, so much used on the india station, is made. this rope floats in water, and is not subject to rot, nor does it require tarring. a frigate o...
abandonment of a vessel
    Deserting and abandoning her by reason of unseaworthiness or danger of remaining in her, also when grounded and cannot be
abase, to
    An old word signifying to lower a flag or sail. abaisser is in use in the french marine, and both may be derived from the still older abeigh. abase literally means to cast down, to humble.
abate, to
    An old anglo-norman word from abattre, to beat down or destroy; as, to abate a castle or fort, is to beat it down; and a gale is said to abate when it decreases. the term is still used in law.
abatis
    An obstruction used in temporary fortification, composed of felled trees deprived of their smaller branches, and secured to the ground side by side with their tops towards the enemy; applicable to...
abblast
    Cross-bow; hence,
abblaster
    Cross-bow man.
abbrochyn
    The old term for beginning or broaching a barrel, cask, or any vesselle of drynke.
aber
    An ancient british word for the mouth of a riveras aber-brothick, aber-avon, aber-ystwith, and aber-conway, &c. it also means the confluence of two or more streams.
abet, to
    To excite or encouragea common word, greatly in use at boat-racings, and other competitive acts.
abited
    A provincial term for mildewed.
abord
    An anglo-saxon term, meaning across, from shore to shore, of a port or river.
abox
  1. A word used in veering for aback, alluding to the situation of the head-yards in paying off. (see brace aback.) lay the head-yards aboxin former times, and even at present, many good seamen ...
abrase, to
    To dubb or smooth planks.
abrid
    A pintle-plate.
abroach
    On tap, in use; spoken of barrels of beer or other liquors.
absciss
    A part either of the diameter or the transverse axis of a conic section, intercepted between the vertex or any other fixed point and a semi-ordinate.abscission of a planet, its being outstripped ...
absquatulate
    See squatter.
abstract mathematics, or pure
    The branch which investigates and demonstrates the properties of magnitude, figure, or quantity, absolutely and generally considered, without restriction to any species in particular; such as arit...
abyme
    Places supposed to be the site of constant whirlpools, such as charybdis, the maelstrom, and others. it means generally an abyss.
academite
    An old term for an officer brought up at the royal navy academy at portsmouth, afterwards named the royal naval college.
acast
    The old word for lost or cast-away. in weighing anchor the head-yards are generally braced acast, to cause the vessel to cast in the direction. does she take acast? is frequently the question of...
acater
    An old word for purveyor of victuals, whence caterer, or superintendent and provider of a mess. thus in ben jonson`s the devil is an ass
acates
    Victuals; provisions purchased; delicious food; dainties.
acatium
    A word used in roman naval affairs for a small boat, and also the main-mast of a ship.
accoil, to
    To coil together, by folding round. (see coil.)
accolad
    [ad and collum, lat.] the ceremony of dubbing a knight, and the consequent embrace formerly customary on the occasion.
accompany, to
    To sail together; to sail in convoy.
accost, to
    To pass within hail of a ship; to sail coastwise; to approach, to draw near, or come side by side.
account, going upon
    A phrase for buccaneering.
accoutrement
    An old term for an habiliment, or part of the trappings and furniture of a soldier or knight; now generally used for the belts, pouches, and equipments of soldiers or marines.
accul
    A word used by old voyagers for the end of a deep bay; it is corrupted from cul de sac.
achatour
    The old word for caterer of a mess.
achernar
    A star of the first magnitude in the constellation eridanus, called by navigators the spring of the river. it is invisible in our latitude. ({a} eridani.) properly should be acher nahr.
achronical
    An ancient term, signifying the rising of the heavenly bodies at sunset, or setting at sunrise.
acker
    See eagre or aigre. also, an eddying ripple on the surface of flooded waters. a tide swelling above another tide, as in the severn. (see bore.)
acquittance
    A commercial term, more generally called quittance (which see).
acre, o
    Acre-fight. an old duel fought by warriors between the frontiers of england and scotland, with sword and lance. this duelling was also called camp-fight.
across the tide
    A ship riding across tide, with the wind in the direction of the tide, would tend to leeward of her anchor; but with a weather tide, or that running against the wind, if the tide be strong, would ...
acrostolium
  1. A buckler, helmet, or other symbolical ornament on the prow of ancient ships; the origin of the modern figure-head.

  2. A symbolical ornament on the prows of ancient vessels; precursor ...
act and intention
    Must be united in admiralty law.
acte
    A peninsula; the term was particularly applied by the ancients to the sea-coast around mount athos.
act of court
    The decision of the court or judge on the verdict, or the overruling of the court on a point of law.
act of grace
    An act of parliament for a general and free pardon to deserters from the service and others.
acting commission
    When a commissioned officer is invalided, his vacancy is filled up pending the pleasure of the admiralty by an acting order. but when an officer dies on a station, where the admiralty delegates th...
active service
  1. Duty against an enemy; operations in his presence. or in the present day it denotes serving on full-pay, on the active list, in contradistinction to those who are virtually retired, and placed...
acto, or acton
    A kind of defensive tunic, made of quilted leather, or other strong material, formerly worn under the outer dress, and even under a coat of mail.
acumba
    Oakum. the anglo-saxon term for the hards, or the coarse part, of flax or unplucked wool.
adamas
    The moon in nautic horoscopes.
adarris
    A word which howell explains as the flower of sea-water.
addel, or addle
    An old term for the putrid water in casks.
addice
    An adze. also the addled eggs of gulls and other sea-fowl.
addlings
    Accumulated pay or wages.
adelantado
    A lieutenant of the king of spain, but used by old english writers for admiral.
adjourn, to
    To put off till another day. adjournments can be made in courts-martial from day to day, sundays excepted, until sentence is passed.
adjust, to
    To arrange an instrument for use and observation; as, to adjust a sextant, or the escapement of a chronometer. to set the frame of a ship.
adjustment of the compass
    Swinging a ship to every point of bearing, to note the variation or error of the needle upon each rhumb, due to the local attraction of the iron, or the mass, on each separate compass bearing. thu...
adjutant
    [from lat. adjuvo, to help.] a military assistant to field-officers. the term has been applied to an assistant captain of a fleet. it is indeed the duty performed by first lieutenants.
admiralt
    Black-book. see black-book.
admiralty court
  1. The constitution of this court relatively to the legislative power of the king in council, is analogous to that of the courts of common law relatively to the parliament of the kingdom. high c...
admiralty midshipman
  1. Formerly one who, having served the appointed time, and passed his examination for lieutenant, was appointed to a ship by the admiralty, and thus named in contradistinction to those who used t...
adornings
    The carved work on the quarter and stern-galleries of men-of-war.
adown
    The bawl of privateersmen for the crew of a captured vessel to go below. saxon, adoun.
adreamt
    Dozing; the sensation so often combatted with towards the end of a first or a middle watch, it being the state, as an old author has it, between sleeping and waking.
adrent, or adreynte
    An old term for drowned.
adscripts
    Sometimes used for the tangents of arcs.
advance, to
    An old word, meaning to raise to honour.
advanced post
    A spot of ground seized by a party to secure their front. a piquet or outpost.
advanced squadron
    One on the look-out.advance, or vanguard, that division of a force which is next the enemy, or which marches before a body.advance fosse, a ditch of water round the esplanade or glacis of a fort...
advance money
    In men-of-war and most merchant ships the advance of two months` wages is given to the crew, previous to going to sea; the clearing off of which is called working up the dead horse.
advantage, o
    Vantage-ground. that which gives superiority of attack on, or defence against, an enemy; affording means of annoyance or resistance.
advocate general
    An officer of the high court of admiralty, whose duty it is to appear for the lord high-admiral in that court, the court of delegates, or any other wherein his rights are concerned. judge-advocat...
adze, or addice
    A cutting tool of the axe kind, for dubbing flat and circular work, much used by shipwrights, especially by the parsee builders in india, with whom it serves for axe, plane, and chisel. it is a cu...
aerolites
    One of the many names given to those solid masses or stones which occasionally fall from the atmosphere to the surface of the earth. the assumption of their periodicity cannot, as yet, be consider...
aerology
    The rational doctrine or science of the air and its phenomena.
aeromancy
    Formerly the art of divining by the air, but now used for foretelling the changes in the weather, either by experience or by instruments.
aerometry
    The science of measuring the air, its powers, pressure, and properties.