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

  • n. A device equipped with sharp teeth and towed alongside a ship to cut the mooring cables of submerged mines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device, stabilized with vanes, towed alongside a vessel such that the cable attaching it cuts the moorings of submerged mines.
  • n. A towed underwater object with hydrofoils, of diverse uses


From its having vanes to keep it at a constant depth.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From para- + vane (Wiktionary)



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