Span iron
Span Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp["o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, a small space or a brief portion of time. [1913 Webster]

Yet not to earth's contracted span Thy goodness let me bound. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

Life's but a span; I'll every inch enjoy. --Farquhar. [1913 Webster]

3. The spread or extent of an arch between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between its supports. [1913 Webster]

4. (Naut.) A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used. [1913 Webster]

5. [Cf. D. span, Sw. spann, Dan. sp[ae]nd, G. gespann. See {Span}, v. t. ] A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action. [1913 Webster]

{Span blocks} (Naut.), blocks at the topmast and topgallant-mast heads, for the studding-sail halyards.

{Span counter}, an old English child's game, in which one throws a counter on the ground, and another tries to hit it with his counter, or to get his counter so near it that he can span the space between them, and touch both the counters. --Halliwell. ``Henry V., in whose time boys went to span counter for French crowns.'' --Shak.

{Span iron} (Naut.), a special kind of harpoon, usually secured just below the gunwale of a whaleboat.

{Span roof}, a common roof, having two slopes and one ridge, with eaves on both sides. --Gwilt.

{Span shackle} (Naut.), a large bolt driven through the forecastle deck, with a triangular shackle in the head to receive the heel of the old-fashioned fish davit. --Ham. Nav. Encyc. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • span iron — noun Etymology: span (VI) : a harpoon usually secured just below the gunwale of a whaleboat …   Useful english dictionary

  • Span — Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp[ o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Span blocks — Span Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp[ o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Span counter — Span Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp[ o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Span roof — Span Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp[ o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Span shackle — Span Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp[ o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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