A case that supports and protects a ship's compass, located near the helm.
[Alteration of Middle English bitakille, from Old Spanish bitácula or from Old Portuguese bitácola, both from Latin habitāculum, habitation, from habitāre, to inhabit; see ghabh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)binnacle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.