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 (kēl′sən, kĕl′-) also kel·son (kĕl′-)
n. Nautical
A timber or girder fastened above and parallel to the keel of a ship or boat for additional strength.

[Alteration (influenced by keel) of Middle English kelswin, probably from Old Norse *kjölsvīn : kjölr, keel + svīn, swine, timber; see sū- in Indo-European roots.]
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.


(ˈkɛlsən; ˈkiːl-) or


(Nautical Terms) a longitudinal beam fastened to the keel of a vessel for strength and stiffness
[C17: probably from Low German kielswin, keel swine, ultimately of Scandinavian origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɛl sən, ˈkil-)

also kelson

any of various fore-and-aft structural members lying above or parallel to the keel in the bottom of a hull.
[1605–15; < Low German kielswin literally, keel swine]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.keelson - a longitudinal beam connected to the keel of ship to strengthen itkeelson - a longitudinal beam connected to the keel of ship to strengthen it
beam - long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction
hull - the frame or body of ship
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"We had better be going together over the ship, Captain," said the senior partner; and the three men started to view the perfections of the Nan-Shan from stem to stern, and from her keelson to the trucks of her two stumpy pole-masts.
The club had to replace the keel and keelsons and swapped out its engine with a correct-era 35 hp Evinrude Big Twin.
"There are only nine composite fuselage components, including an upper and lower skin, two main webs, and two keelsons," he explained.