hawser (plural hawsers)

  1. (nautical) a cable or heavy rope used to tow or moor a ship
    • 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Ebb-tide Runs”, in Treasure Island, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, OCLC 702939134 ↗, part V (My Sea Adventure), page 185 ↗:
      The hawser was as taut as a bowstring, and the current so strong she pulled upon her anchor. All around the hull, in the blackness, the rippling current bubbled and chattered like a little mountain stream.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, chapter 26, in Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co.:
      A hatchet to my hawser? all adrift to go?

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