—anchorable, adj. —anchorless, adj. —anchorlike, adj./ang"keuhr/, n.1. any of various devices dropped by a chain, cable, or rope to the bottom of a body of water for preventing or restricting the motion of a vessel or other floating object, typically having broad, hooklike arms that bury themselves in the bottom to provide a firm hold.2. any similar device for holding fast or checking motion: an anchor of stones.3. any device for securing a suspension or cantilever bridge at either end.4. any of various devices, as a metal tie, for binding one part of a structure to another.5. a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.6. Radio and Television. a person who is the main broadcaster on a program of news, sports, etc., and who usually also serves as coordinator of all participating broadcasters during the program; anchorman or anchorwoman; anchorperson.7. Television. a program that attracts many viewers who are likely to stay tuned to the network for the programs that follow.8. a well-known store, esp. a department store, that attracts customers to the shopping center in which it is located.9. Slang. automotive brakes.10. Mil. a key position in defense lines.a. the person on a team, esp. a relay team, who competes last.b. the person farthest to the rear on a tug-of-war team.12. at anchor, held in place by an anchor: The luxury liner is at anchor in the harbor.13. drag anchor, (of a vessel) to move with a current or wind because an anchor has failed to hold.14. drop anchor, to anchor a vessel: They dropped anchor in a bay to escape the storm.15. weigh anchor, to raise the anchor: We will weigh anchor at dawn.v.t.16. to hold fast by an anchor.17. to fix or fasten; affix firmly: The button was anchored to the cloth with heavy thread.18. to act or serve as an anchor for: He anchored the evening news.v.i.19. to drop anchor; lie or ride at anchor: The ship anchored at dawn.20. to keep hold or be firmly fixed: The insect anchored fast to its prey.21. Sports, Radio and Television. to act or serve as an anchor.[bef. 900; ME anker, ancre, OE ancor, ancer, ancra (cf. OFris, MD, MLG anker) < L anc(h)ora < Gk ánkyra]
* * *▪ nautical devicedevice, usually of metal, attached to a ship or boat by a cable or chain and lowered to the seabed to hold the vessel in a particular place by means of a fluke or pointed projection that digs into the sea bottom.Ancient anchors consisted of large stones, basketfuls of stones, sacks filled with sand, or logs of wood loaded with lead; these held the vessel merely by their weight and by friction along the bottom. As ships became larger, they required a more effective device to hold them, and wooden hooks that dug into the sea bottom came into use as anchors. Iron replaced wood in their construction, and teeth or flukes were added to help the hooks dig into the bottom. Another major improvement was the addition of a stock, or horizontal arm, that is set at right angles to the arms and flukes of the lower part of the anchor. The stock ensures that the arms rest vertically on the seabed, and thus one fluke will dig itself in, providing maximum holding power. This type, with its two flukes and its stock at right angles, remained the basic anchor for many centuries. It is known as a stock anchor in the United States and as a fisherman's anchor in the United Kingdom.Curved arms began to replace straight arms in anchors early in the 19th century. This type of anchor, which is still used for light work and for boats, is shown in Figure 1—>. The ring (or shackle) is the part of the anchor where the chain or cable is attached. By removing the keep pin, the stock can be removed from the head so that the anchor can be stowed flat on an anchor bed in the ship. The stock must then be folded out again (i.e., stocked) before letting go, to ensure that one of the flukes digs into the ground. The vertical shaft of an anchor is called a shank; it contains a balancing band fitted at the anchor's centre of gravity so that the anchor balances horizontally when lifted. The shank is joined to each arm at the crown. At the end of each arm is a fluke, which consists of a triangular flat face (i.e., a palm) with a pointed bill that digs into the ground.The stockless anchor (Figure 2—>), which was patented in England in 1821, came into wide use principally because of its ease of handling and stowing. The crown, arms, and flukes of a stockless anchor are cast in one piece and can pivot slightly from side to side on the shank. The flukes are long and heavy, and have projecting shoulders at their base that catch on the seabed. As more drag is exerted, the shoulders force the flukes downward into the bottom. Stockless anchors have replaced the older stock anchor on most of the large ships of the world.Several other types of anchors are in common use. Lightweight, Danforth, and plow anchors have long, sharp flukes that pivot around a stock at the bottom of the shank and bury themselves deeply into the bottom; these anchors are generally used for yachts and other small craft. The mushroom anchor is shaped like an upside-down mushroom and is used widely as a permanent mooring for lightships, dredges, and lighters.
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