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A device equipped with sharp teeth and towed alongside a ship to cut the mooring cables of submerged mines.
[From its having vanes to keep it at a constant depth.]
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.
(Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a torpedo-shaped device towed from the bow of a vessel so that the cables will cut the anchors of any moored mines
[C20: from para-2 + vane]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a device towed at the bow of a ship for cutting the moorings of underwater mines, allowing them to rise to the surface and be destroyed.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.