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A rail around the lower part of a ship's mast to which the belaying pins for the rigging are secured.
[Possibly from its use by the ship's fifer.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Nautical Terms) nautical a rail at the base of a mast of a sailing vessel, fitted with pins for belaying running rigging. Compare pin rail
[C18: of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a rail on a sailing vessel where belaying pins are inserted.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.