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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.]
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]
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.]