Capstan bar
Capstan Cap"stan, n. [F. cabestan, fr. Sp. cabestrante, cabrestante, fr. cabestrar to bind with a halter, fr. cabestrohalter, fr. L. capistrum halter, fr. capere to hold (see {Capacious}); or perh. the Spanish is fr. L. caper goat + stans, p. pr. of stare to stand; cf. F. ch[`e]vre she-goat, also a machine for raising heavy weights.] A vertical cleated drum or cylinder, revolving on an upright spindle, and surmounted by a drumhead with sockets for bars or levers. It is much used, especially on shipboard, for moving or raising heavy weights or exerting great power by traction upon a rope or cable, passing around the drum. It is operated either by steam power or by a number of men walking around the capstan, each pushing on the end of a lever fixed in its socket. [Sometimes spelt {Capstern}, but improperly.] [1913 Webster]

{Capstan bar}, one of the long bars or levers by which the capstan is worked; a handspike..

{To pawl the capstan}, to drop the pawls so that they will catch in the notches of the pawl ring, and prevent the capstan from turning back.

{To rig the capstan}, to prepare the for use, by putting the bars in the sockets.

{To surge the capstan}, to slack the tension of the rope or cable wound around it. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • capstan bar — n. any of the poles inserted in a capstan and used as levers in turning it by hand …   English World dictionary

  • capstan bar — a long lever for turning a capstan by hand. [1620 30] * * * capstan bar, a pole used to turn a capstan …   Useful english dictionary

  • capstan bar — a long lever for turning a capstan by hand. [1620 30] * * * …   Universalium

  • capstan bar — /ˈkæpstən ba/ (say kapstuhn bah) noun one of the levers, by which a capstan is turned …   Australian English dictionary

  • capstan bar —    Aukā …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Capstan — Cap stan, n. [F. cabestan, fr. Sp. cabestrante, cabrestante, fr. cabestrar to bind with a halter, fr. cabestrohalter, fr. L. capistrum halter, fr. capere to hold (see {Capacious}); or perh. the Spanish is fr. L. caper goat + stans, p. pr. of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • capstan screw — noun or capstan bolt : a screw that has a head resembling a capstan and that is capable of being turned by a bar inserted in one of several radial holes in the head …   Useful english dictionary

  • capstan nut — noun : a nut resembling the head of a capstan and operated by a bar inserted in one of several holes about its periphery …   Useful english dictionary

  • capstan — noun (C) 1 a round machine shaped like a drum, used to wind up a rope that pulls or lifts heavy objects 2 the round bar that goes round to move the tape 1 (12) in a tape recorder …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • capstan — /ˈkæpstən / (say kapstuhn) noun a device resembling a windlass but with a vertical axis, commonly turned by a bar or lever, and winding a cable, for raising weights (as an anchor) or drawing things closer (as a ship to its jetty). {Middle English …   Australian English dictionary

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