On an even keel
Keel Keel, n. [Cf. AS. ce['o]l ship; akin to D. & G. kiel keel, OHG. chiol ship, Icel. kj[=o]ll, and perh. to Gr. gay^los a round-built Ph[oe]nician merchant vessel, gaylo`s bucket; cf. Skr. g[=o]la ball, round water vessel. But the meaning of the English word seems to come from Icel. kj["o]lr keel, akin to Sw. k["o]l, Dan. kj["o]l.] 1. (Shipbuilding) A longitudinal timber, or series of timbers scarfed together, extending from stem to stern along the bottom of a vessel. It is the principal timber of the vessel, and, by means of the ribs attached on each side, supports the vessel's frame. In an iron vessel, a combination of plates supplies the place of the keel of a wooden ship. See Illust. of {Keelson}. [1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: The whole ship. [1913 Webster]

3. A barge or lighter, used on the Tyne for carrying coal from Newcastle; also, a barge load of coal, twenty-one tons, four cwt. [Eng.] [1913 Webster]

4. (Bot.) The two lowest petals of the corolla of a papilionaceous flower, united and inclosing the stamens and pistil; a carina. See {Carina}. [1913 Webster]

5. (Nat. Hist.) A projecting ridge along the middle of a flat or curved surface. [1913 Webster]

6. (Aeronautics) In a dirigible, a construction similar in form and use to a ship's keel; in an a["e]roplane, a fin or fixed surface employed to increase stability and to hold the machine to its course. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Bilge keel} (Naut.), a keel peculiar to ironclad vessels, extending only a portion of the length of the vessel under the bilges. --Ham. Nav. Encyc.

{False keel}. See under {False}.

{Keel boat}. (a) A covered freight boat, with a keel, but no sails, used on Western rivers. [U. S.] (b) A low, flat-bottomed freight boat. See {Keel}, n., 3.

{Keel piece}, one of the timbers or sections of which a keel is composed.

{On even keel}, in a level or horizontal position, so that the draught of water at the stern and the bow is the same. --Ham. Nav. Encyc.

{On an even keel} a. & adv., steady; balanced; steadily. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • on an even keel — {adv. phr,}, {informal} In a well ordered way or condition; orderly. * /When the football rally seemed almost ready to become a riot, the principal stepped to the platform and got things back on an even keel./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • on an even keel — {adv. phr,}, {informal} In a well ordered way or condition; orderly. * /When the football rally seemed almost ready to become a riot, the principal stepped to the platform and got things back on an even keel./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • on an even keel — also on even keel phrasal in a sound or stable condition …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • On even keel — Keel Keel, n. [Cf. AS. ce[ o]l ship; akin to D. & G. kiel keel, OHG. chiol ship, Icel. kj[=o]ll, and perh. to Gr. gay^los a round built Ph[oe]nician merchant vessel, gaylo s bucket; cf. Skr. g[=o]la ball, round water vessel. But the meaning of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • on even keel — phrasal see on an even keel …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • On even keel — Even E ven, a. [AS. efen. efn; akin to OS. eban, D. even, OHG. eban, G. efen, Icel. jafn, Dan. jevn, Sw. j[ a]mn, Goth. ibns. Cf. {Anent}, {Ebb}.] 1. Level, smooth, or equal in surface; not rough; free from irregularities; hence uniform in rate… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Keel — Keel, n. [Cf. AS. ce[ o]l ship; akin to D. & G. kiel keel, OHG. chiol ship, Icel. kj[=o]ll, and perh. to Gr. gay^los a round built Ph[oe]nician merchant vessel, gaylo s bucket; cf. Skr. g[=o]la ball, round water vessel. But the meaning of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Keel boat — Keel Keel, n. [Cf. AS. ce[ o]l ship; akin to D. & G. kiel keel, OHG. chiol ship, Icel. kj[=o]ll, and perh. to Gr. gay^los a round built Ph[oe]nician merchant vessel, gaylo s bucket; cf. Skr. g[=o]la ball, round water vessel. But the meaning of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Keel piece — Keel Keel, n. [Cf. AS. ce[ o]l ship; akin to D. & G. kiel keel, OHG. chiol ship, Icel. kj[=o]ll, and perh. to Gr. gay^los a round built Ph[oe]nician merchant vessel, gaylo s bucket; cf. Skr. g[=o]la ball, round water vessel. But the meaning of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • even — See: BREAK EVEN, GET EVEN, ON AN EVEN KEEL …   Dictionary of American idioms

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