from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Nautical A thick post on a ship or wharf, used for securing ropes and hawsers.
  • noun One of a series of posts preventing vehicles from entering an area.
  • noun A projecting bulge of snow or ice used as an anchor for a rope in mountaineering.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Nautical, a strong post fixed vertically alongside of a dock, on which to fasten hawsers for securing or hauling ships.
  • noun Same as billet-head, 1 .

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An upright wooden or iron post in a boat or on a dock, used in veering or fastening ropes.
  • noun (Naut.) a timber, also called a knighthead, rising just within the stem in a ship, on either side of the bowsprit, to secure its end.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical A strong vertical post of timber or iron, fixed to the ground and/or on the deck of a ship, to which the ship's mooring lines etc are secured
  • noun A similar post preventing vehicle access to a pedestrian area, to delineate traffic lanes, or used for security purposes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a strong post (as on a wharf or quay or ship for attaching mooring lines)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, probably from bole, tree trunk; see bole.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin unknown; perhaps from bole.


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  • On the approach of the officer there was no challenge, so to find the reason of this the officer climbed up the ladder and found the sentry, who explained he had seen something "right enuff," but thought it was "one of them things they tie ships to" -- in other words a bollard.

    The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War 1914-1918

  • On an ancient stone stump, about three feet thick and three feet high, used for securing ships by ropes to the shore, and called a bollard or holdfast, an elderly gentleman sits facing the land with his head bowed and his face in his hands, sobbing.

    Back to Methuselah

  • Although Jim cycling into a bollard was a highlight. TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at

  • The entire length of rope unwound directly from the reel or 'bollard' of the first launch, and the line of a second boat was attached forthwith; a third and a fourth were annexed, but the whale exhibited no sign of exhaustion, and dragged his pursuers like the wind.

    Tales of the Chesapeake

  • "bollard," a piece of timber near the stern of the boat.

    Peter the Whaler

  • A 57-year-old woman was taken to hospital on Thursday with fractures to her face and ribs and internal injuries after what police described as a "bucket-sized" concrete bollard hit the car she was travelling in with husband, who was driving at the time and suffered minor cuts and bruises.

    Fresh concrete block report leads to partial closure of A12

  • They verbally abuse her calling her a P**i for nudging one of them off his bollard as she crosses the road.


  • There's also line-tossing, where deckhands are timed lassoing a bollard on a pier from an approaching tug.

    A Harbor's Ugly Ducklings Can't Resist the Tug of Speed

  • We made a triangle with our eyes: me looking mournfully at Leo, Leo scrutinising the man in the denim jacket, the man watching me, leaning on a concrete bollard and chewing gum.

    That Saturday

  • I love it that there is a word like “bollard” — it sounds ridiculous and ponderous and silly all at once.

    On Penelope Fitzgerald « Tales from the Reading Room


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  • "Stephen stood up, hesitated, leapt for a bollard with a sergeant standing by it, and missed his hold. He fell between the jetty and the boat, and coming to the surface called out in Catalan, 'Pull me out. Hell and death.'"

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate, 258

    February 8, 2008

  • I hate it when that happens.

    February 8, 2008