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rat·linealso rat·lin (răt′lĭn)
1. Any of the small ropes fastened horizontally to the shrouds of a ship and forming a ladder for going aloft.
2. The material used for these ropes.
[Alteration (perhaps influenced by rat, with reference to ships' rats) of Middle English ratheling in ratheling line, thin cordage used for ratlines, from Middle English rathelen, to entwine + probably from alteration of Middle English raddle, stick, wattle, hurdle woven from wattle, perhaps from Anglo-Norman ridele, redele, rail on the side of a cart, probably of Germanic origin and akin to Middle High German reitel, reidel, toggle, turning handle, Old High German rīdan, to turn, wind; and Old English wrīthan, to writhe; see writhe.]
(Nautical Terms) nautical any of a series of light lines tied across the shrouds of a sailing vessel for climbing aloft
[C15: of unknown origin]
or rat•lin(ˈræt lɪn)
any of the small ropes or lines that cross the shrouds of a ship horizontally and serve as steps for going aloft.
[1475–85; earlier ratling, radelyng, of obscure orig.]
An organized effort for moving personnel and/or material by clandestine means across a denied area or border.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||ratline - (nautical) a small horizontal rope between the shrouds of a sailing ship; they form a ladder for climbing aloft|
line - something (as a cord or rope) that is long and thin and flexible; "a washing line"
ship - a vessel that carries passengers or freight
n (Naut) → Webeleine f