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1. Any of several structures that project from the side of a boat or ship, especially a gun platform.
2. A short, curved, air-filled projection on the hull of a seaplane, imparting stability in the water.
[Perhaps alteration of expansion.]
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.
1. (Nautical Terms) navy an outboard support for a gun enabling it to fire fore and aft
2. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a semicircular gun turret on the side of a tank
3. (Nautical Terms) a float or flotation chamber along the gunwale of a boat or ship
4. (Nautical Terms) a structural projection from the side of a paddle steamer for supporting a paddle wheel
5. (Aeronautics) a structural unit attached to a helicopter fuselage by fixed struts, housing the main landing gear and inflatable flotation bags
[C19: perhaps from expansion]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. a structure projecting from the side or main deck of a vessel, as one supporting a gun.
2. a buoyant appendage at the gunwale of a canoe to resist capsizing.
[1830–40; earlier also sponsing, sponcing, of uncertain orig.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.