bow·line (bōlĭn, -līn′)
1. Nautical A rope attached to the weather leech of a square sail to hold the leech forward when sailing close-hauled.
2. A knot forming a loop that does not slip but that can be untied easily.
[Middle English bouline, probably from Middle Danish bovline or Middle Low German bōlīne, both from Middle Low German bōch līne : bōch, bow; see bheug- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + līne, line (from Latin līnea; see LINE1).]
(click for a larger image)bowline
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.