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a. The principal structural member of a boat or ship, running along the center of the hull from bow to stern, to which the ribs are attached.
b. A projecting ridge or fin on the bottom of the hull of a boat or ship that improves directional control and is often weighted for added stability.
2. The principal structural member of an aircraft, resembling a ship's keel in shape and function.
3. A structure, such as the breastbone of a bird, that resembles a ship's keel in function or shape.
4. A pair of united petals in certain flowers, as those of many members of the pea family.
intr. & tr.v. keeled, keel·ing, keels NauticalPhrasal Verb:
To capsize or cause to capsize.
To collapse or fall into or as if into a faint.
[Middle English kele, from Old Norse kjölr.]
a. A sail-powered barge, especially one historically used on the rivers of northern England.
b. The load capacity of this barge.
2. A British unit of weight formerly used for coal, equal to about 21.2 long tons.
[Middle English kele, from Middle Dutch kiel.]
tr.v. keeled, keel·ing, keels Chiefly British
To make cool.
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.