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1. Nautical A flat hardwood disk with a grooved perimeter, pierced by three holes through which the lanyards are passed, used to fasten the shrouds.
2. Slang An expert shooter: a deadeye with the rifle.


1. (Nautical Terms) nautical either of a pair of disclike wooden blocks, supported by straps in grooves around them, between which a line is rove so as to draw them together to tighten a shroud. Compare bull's-eye9
2. (Shooting) chiefly informal US an expert marksman



n., pl. -eyes.
1. either of a pair of disks of hardwood having holes through which a lanyard is rove: used to tighten shrouds and stays.
2. an expert marksman.
[1740–50; as nautical term, probably ellipsis from deadman's eye, Middle English dedmaneseye deadeye]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.deadeye - a dead shot
crack shot, marksman, sharpshooter - someone skilled in shooting
2.deadeye - (nautical) a round hardwood disk with holes and a grooved perimeter used to tighten a shroud
sailing, seafaring, navigation - the work of a sailor
disk, disc - a flat circular plate
References in classic literature ?
Below, Lee Goom and Toyama were lowering skylight covers and screwing up deadeyes.
The wood contains a natural oil which makes it self-lubricating, leading to its use for belaying pins, deadeyes and, more recently, propeller bearings on ships.
Most American frontiersmen became deadeyes and could accomplish shooting feats such as snuffing-the-candle or driving-the-nail as a matter of course.