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1. A square bar used as a support for a topmast.
2. A large tapering pin used to open the strands of a rope before splicing.
1. (Nautical Terms) a spike for separating strands of rope in splicing
2. (Nautical Terms) a wooden or metal bar for supporting the heel of a topmast
[C17: of unknown origin]
1. a stout bar of wood or metal placed across a lower spar to support a higher one.
2. a stout bar used to hold a running bowsprit in its extended position.
[1605–15; orig. uncertain]
a combining form meaning “having parts or lobes” of the kind specified by the initial element: bifid; pinnatifid.
[< Latin -fidus, derivative of findere to split]
A wooden pin, usually only a few inches long, tapered to a point and used to separate the strands of small rope. A marlinespike is generally much heavier, often of metal, and used on steel cable and larger rope.