WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
bob•stay  (bobstā′),USA pronunciation n. [Naut.]
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsa rope, chain, or rod from the outer end of the bowsprit to the cutwater.
  • bob1 + stay3 1750–60

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

bobstay /ˈbɒbˌsteɪ/ n
  1. a strong stay between a bowsprit and the stem of a vessel for holding down the bowsprit
Etymology: 18th Century: perhaps from bob1 + stay³


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