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

  • noun The lowest deck of a ship, especially a warship, having at least four decks.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Nautical, the deck below the berth-deck in a ship, where the cables were formerly coiled.

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

  • noun (Naut.) The lowest deck of a vessel, esp. of a ship of war, consisting of a platform laid over the beams in the hold, on which the cables are coiled.

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

  • noun nautical The platform over the hold of a ship that makes up the fourth or lowest deck, hence in full called orlop deck, especially of a warship.

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

  • noun the fourth or lowest deck


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

[Middle English overlop, floor covering a ship's hold, from Middle Low German overlōp : over, over; see uper in Indo-European roots + lōp, a running.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English overlop ("deck of a single decker"), from Middle Low German overlop ("which leaps overhead").


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  • Below this again is one still lower-deck called the orlop-deck.

    How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves Updated to 1900

  • The "orlop" or eighth deck is devoted entirely to machinery with coal bunkers on each side of the boilers to provide against the effect of collisions.

    Marvels of Modern Science

  • "Battered chain-gangs of the orlop, grizzled draughts of years gone by ..."


  • The screaming was coming from up on the orlop deck.

    The Terror

  • The lanterns were already disappearing up the ladderway to the orlop deck.

    The Terror

  • Knowing that the orlop deck fire alone would have been enough — these timbers were dried to tinder after six years in this arctic desert — he still took time to light the lines of powder on the lower deck and open upper deck.

    The Terror

  • Crozier realized that Puhtoorak's young hunters had hacked their way in to the orlop deck.

    The Terror

  • Then the Four of us — aided by crewmen assigned to help us move the hundreds upon hundreds of crates, barrels, and heavy cans in both lower decks, orlop decks, and holds, and to open and test selected samplings — had done the Inventory twice so as not to make a mistake.

    The Terror

  • As far as they could tell without lighting lamps and going down into the hold and orlop deck, this was the only dead body on board.

    The Terror

  • Crozier wanted to stay in the open air, even with the afternoon light waning, but he made himself go below to the orlop deck again.

    The Terror


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  • "...I'd give him such a pair of black eyes that he wouldn't dare to show his face in the admiral's cabin again for a long while, let alone down in the orlop there, where he lives..."

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 76

    July 26, 2008

  • "...the lower but temporary deck in a ship of war, whereon the cables are usually coiled, the sails deposited, and the several officers' store-rooms contained. Small ships have a kind of platform in midships, which is also called the orlop, and is chiefly for the use of the cables."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 328

    October 14, 2008

  • "The Lucy left Plymouth Harbor under steam (somewhere below deck—Lenox suspected it was in the orlop, but couldn't feel sure—men were shoveling coal as if their lives depended on it) about an hour later."

    A Burial at Sea by Charles Finch, p 33

    January 3, 2012