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2 definitions found
 for To back an anchor
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Anchor \An"chor\ ([a^][ng]"k[~e]r), n. [OE. anker, AS. ancor,
     oncer, L. ancora, sometimes spelt anchora, fr. Gr. 'a`gkyra,
     akin to E. angle: cf. F. ancre. See Angle, n.]
     1. A iron instrument which is attached to a ship by a cable
        (rope or chain), and which, being cast overboard, lays
        hold of the earth by a fluke or hook and thus retains the
        ship in a particular station.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: The common anchor consists of a straight bar called a
           shank, having at one end a transverse bar called a
           stock, above which is a ring for the cable, and at the
           other end the crown, from which branch out two or more
           arms with flukes, forming with the shank a suitable
           angle to enter the ground.
           [1913 Webster]
     Note: Formerly the largest and strongest anchor was the sheet
           anchor (hence, Fig., best hope or last refuge), called
           also waist anchor. Now the bower and the sheet anchor
           are usually alike. Then came the best bower and the
           small bower (so called from being carried on the bows).
           The stream anchor is one fourth the weight of the bower
           anchor. Kedges or kedge anchors are light anchors used
           in warping.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. Any instrument or contrivance serving a purpose like that
        of a ship's anchor, as an arrangement of timber to hold a
        dam fast; a contrivance to hold the end of a bridge cable,
        or other similar part; a contrivance used by founders to
        hold the core of a mold in place.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Fig.: That which gives stability or security; that on
        which we place dependence for safety.
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              Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul. --Heb.
                                                    vi. 19.
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     4. (Her.) An emblem of hope.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Arch.)
        (a) A metal tie holding adjoining parts of a building
        (b) Carved work, somewhat resembling an anchor or
            arrowhead; -- a part of the ornaments of certain
            moldings. It is seen in the echinus, or egg-and-anchor
            (called also egg-and-dart, egg-and-tongue)
            [1913 Webster]
     6. (Zool.) One of the anchor-shaped spicules of certain
        sponges; also, one of the calcareous spinules of certain
        Holothurians, as in species of Synapta.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. (Television) an achorman, anchorwoman, or
        [1913 Webster]
     Anchor ice. See under Ice. 
     Anchor light See the vocabulary.
     Anchor ring. (Math.) Same as Annulus, 2 (b).
     Anchor shot See the vocabulary.
     Anchor space See the vocabulary.
     Anchor stock (Naut.), the crossbar at the top of the shank
        at right angles to the arms.
     Anchor watch See the vocabulary.
     The anchor comes home, when it drags over the bottom as the
        ship drifts.
     Foul anchor, the anchor when it hooks, or is entangled
        with, another anchor, or with a cable or wreck, or when
        the slack cable is entangled.
     The anchor is acockbill, when it is suspended
        perpendicularly from the cathead, ready to be let go.
     The anchor is apeak, when the cable is drawn in so tight as
        to bring the ship directly over it.
     The anchor is atrip, or aweigh, when it is lifted out of
        the ground.
     The anchor is awash, when it is hove up to the surface of
        the water.
     At anchor, anchored.
     To back an anchor, to increase the holding power by laying
        down a small anchor ahead of that by which the ship rides,
        with the cable fastened to the crown of the latter to
        prevent its coming home.
     To cast anchor, to drop or let go an anchor to keep a ship
        at rest.
     To cat the anchor, to hoist the anchor to the cathead and
        pass the ring-stopper.
     To fish the anchor, to hoist the flukes to their resting
        place (called the bill-boards), and pass the shank
     To weigh anchor, to heave or raise the anchor so as to sail
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Back \Back\ (b[a^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Backed (b[a^]kt); p.
     pr. & vb. n. Backing.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. To get upon the back of; to mount.
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              I will back him [a horse] straight.   --Shak.
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     2. To place or seat upon the back. [R.]
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              Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed,
              Appeared to me.                       --Shak.
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     3. To drive or force backward; to cause to retreat or recede;
        as, to back oxen.
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     4. To make a back for; to furnish with a back; as, to back
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     5. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.
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              A garden . . . with a vineyard backed. --Shak.
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              The chalk cliffs which back the beach. --Huxley.
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     6. To write upon the back of; as, to back a letter; to
        indorse; as, to back a note or legal document.
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     7. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid or
        influence; as, to back a friend. "The Parliament would be
        backed by the people." --Macaulay.
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              Have still found it necessary to back and fortify
              their laws with rewards and punishments. --South.
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              The mate backed the captain manfully. --Blackw. Mag.
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     8. To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.
        [1913 Webster]
     To back an anchor (Naut.), to lay down a small anchor ahead
        of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened
        to the crown of the large one.
     To back the field, in horse racing, to bet against a
        particular horse or horses, that some one of all the other
        horses, collectively designated "the field", will win.
     To back the oars, to row backward with the oars.
     To back a rope, to put on a preventer.
     To back the sails, to arrange them so as to cause the ship
        to move astern.
     To back up, to support; to sustain; as, to back up one's
     To back a warrant (Law), is for a justice of the peace, in
        the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or
        indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend
        an offender.
     To back water (Naut.), to reverse the action of the oars,
        paddles, or propeller, so as to force the boat or ship
        [1913 Webster]

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