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also rat·lin  (răt′lĭn)
1. Any of the small ropes fastened horizontally to the shrouds of a ship and forming a ladder for going aloft.
2. The material used for these ropes.

[Alteration (perhaps influenced by rat, with reference to ships' rats) of Middle English ratheling in ratheling line, thin cordage used for ratlines, from Middle English rathelen, to entwine + probably from alteration of Middle English raddle, stick, wattle, hurdle woven from wattle, perhaps from Anglo-Norman ridele, redele, rail on the side of a cart, probably of Germanic origin and akin to Middle High German reitel, reidel, toggle, turning handle, Old High German rīdan, to turn, wind; and Old English wrīthan, to writhe; see writhe.]
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ratlin - (nautical) a small horizontal rope between the shrouds of a sailing shipratlin - (nautical) a small horizontal rope between the shrouds of a sailing ship; they form a ladder for climbing aloft
sailing, seafaring, navigation - the work of a sailor
line - something (as a cord or rope) that is long and thin and flexible; "a washing line"
ship - a vessel that carries passengers or freight
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Roswell Spaceman leads Rough Ratlin into the first bend on the way to his fastest-of-the-night 23.94sec effort