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Glossary of Naval Terms
beginning with letter B
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backbone Tweet Definition of backbone Like Definition of backbone on Facebook
noun (plural: backbones)
  1. set of bones which connected make up the spine and spinal column and run down the middle of the back in vertebrate animals.
  2. any fundamental support, structure, or infrastructure
Before automobiles, railroads were a of commerce.
  1. courage, fortitude, or strength
He would make a good manager, if he had a little more .
balsa Tweet Definition of balsa Like Definition of balsa on Facebook
  1. A large tree, Ochroma lagopus, native to tropical America, with wood that is very light in weight.
  2. The wood of this tree.
  3. A raft or float, used principally on the Pacific coast of South America.
bargeman Tweet Definition of bargeman Like Definition of bargeman on Facebook
noun (bargemen)
  1. A member of the crew of a barge.
  2. A barge owner, maintainer, or captain of a barge.
  3. (context, nautical, slang) A nickname for a large white maggot, that frequently infested ship's biscuits; most likely a larva of Tenebroides Mauritanicus beetle.
bark Tweet Definition of bark Like Definition of bark on Facebook
  1. (countable) (uncountable) The exterior covering of the trunk and branches of a tree; the rind.
  2. (medicine) Peruvian Bark or Jesuit's bark, the bark of the cinchona from which quinine is produced.
  1. To strip the bark from; to peel.
  2. To abrade or rub off any outer covering from.
to bark one"s heel
  1. To girdle.
  2. To cover or inclose with bark, or as with bark.
bark the roof of a hut
bend Tweet Definition of bend Like Definition of bend on Facebook
  1. A curve.
    • There's a sharp in the road ahead.
      1. (nautical) Any of the various knots which join the ends of two lines.<!-- or the end of a line into some other object; (the latter are called hitch)
    • Note: In naval parlance, a knot involves splicing the strands of a rope.-->
      1. (context, in plural, medicine, diving) (the bends) A severe condition caused by excessively quick decompression, causing bubbles of nitrogen to form in the blood; decompression sickness.
    • A diver who stays deep for too long must ascend very slowly in order to prevent the bends.
      1. (heraldry) One of the honourable ordinary, ordinaries formed by two diagonal lines drawn from the dexter chief to the sinister base; it generally occupies a fifth part of the shield if uncharged, but if charged one third.
verb (bends, bending, bent)
  1. (transitive) To cause (something) to change its shape into a curve, by physical force, chemical action, or any other means.
    • If you the pipe too far, it will break.
    • Don"t your knees.
      1. (context, transitive, nautical) To tie, as in securing a line to a cleat; to shackle a chain to an anchor; make fast.
    • Bend the sail to the yard.
      1. (context, transitive, music) To smoothly change the pitch of a note.
    • You should the G sligthly sharp in the next measure.
      1. (context, intransitive, nautical) To swing the body when rowing.
      2. (intransitive) To become curved.
    • Look at the trees bending in the wind.
    • To bow properly, at the waist.
      1. (intransitive) To change direction.
    • The road bends to the right
bill of health Tweet Definition of bill of health Like Definition of bill of health on Facebook
  1. A certificate stating whether or not there is infectious disease aboard a ship or in a port of departure, given to the ship's master to present at the next port of arrival
binnacle Tweet Definition of binnacle Like Definition of binnacle on Facebook
  1. (nautical) The wooden housing for a ship's compass, its corrector magnets and illuminating arrangements; the log and other equipment for measuring the ships speed is also stowed there.
blanket Tweet Definition of blanket Like Definition of blanket on Facebook
  1. A cloth, usually large, used for warmth or sleeping.
''The baby was cold, so his mother put a over him.
  1. A layer of anything.
The city woke under a thick of fog.
  1. A thick rubber mat used in the offset printing process to transfer ink from the plate to the paper being printed.
A press operator must carefully wash the whenever changing a plate.
  1. In general; covering or encompassing everything.
They sought to create a solution for all situations.
bluff Tweet Definition of bluff Like Definition of bluff on Facebook
  1. A high, steep bank, as by a river or the sea, or beside a ravine or plain; a cliff with a broad face.
  2. An act of bluffing; an expression of self-confidence for the purpose of intimidation; braggadocio; as, that is only bluff, or a bluff.
  3. (poker) An attempt to represent yourself as holding a stronger hand than you do.
    John's bet was a , he bet without even so much as a pair.
  1. To make a bluff
John bluffed by betting without even a pair.
  1. Having a broad, flattened front; as, the bluff bows of a ship.
  2. Rising steeply with a flat or rounded front.
  3. Surly; churlish; gruff; rough.
    • 1883: w:Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson, w:Treasure Island, Treasure Island
    • : ...he had a , rough-and-ready face, all roughened and reddened and lined in his long travels.
    • Abrupt; roughly frank; unceremonious; blunt; brusque; as, a bluff answer; a bluff manner of talking; a bluff sea captain.
boatman Tweet Definition of boatman Like Definition of boatman on Facebook
noun (boatmen)
  1. A man in charge of a small boat.
boom Tweet Definition of boom Like Definition of boom on Facebook
  1. A period of prosperity or market activity
  2. (nautical) A spar extending the foot of a sail; a spar rigged outboard from a ship's side to which boats are secured in harbour
  3. A horizontal member of a crane or derrick, used for lifting.
  4. An abrupt, low-pitched sound, such as of an explosion. (The boom of the surf)
  5. A floating barrier across a harbour entrance used to obstruct the entry of an enemy
  1. (intransitive) To be prosperous.
Business was booming.
  1. (intransitive) To speak or make noise with an intense, low pitch.
bow Tweet Definition of bow Like Definition of bow on Facebook
noun verb      
bower Tweet Definition of bower Like Definition of bower on Facebook
  1. A large nest made of grass and bright objects, used by the bower bird during courtship displays.
  2. A shady, leafy shelter or recess in a garden or woods
  3. A woman's bedroom or private apartments, especially in a medieval castle
  4. (literary) A picturesque country cottage, especially one that is used as a retreat
bowline Tweet Definition of bowline Like Definition of bowline on Facebook
  1. (nautical) a knot tied so as to produce an eye or loop in the end of a rope; it will not slip or jam
brow Tweet Definition of brow Like Definition of brow on Facebook
  1. the ridge over the eyes; the eyebrow
  2. forehead
  3. the projecting upper edge of a steep place such as a hill
  4. (nautical) the gangway from ship to shore when a ship is lying alongside a quay
  5. (nautical) the hinged part of a landing craft or ferry which is lowered to form a landing platform; a ramp
bury Tweet Definition of bury Like Definition of bury on Facebook
verb (transitive)
(buries, burying, buried)
  1. To ritualistically inter a corpse in a grave or tomb. (see burial)
  2. To place in the ground. "bury a bone"
  3. To hide or conceal as if by covering with earth - "she buried her face in the pillow", "buried the secret deep inside"
  4. To put an end to; to abandon. "They buried their argument and shook hands"

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