WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
keel1 /kil/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsthe base at the bottom of the hull of a boat, usually a long metal or wooden bar, that extends from the back to the front and from which the sides are built.

  1. keel over, [no object]
    • to capsize or overturn:The boat keeled over in the hurricane.
    • to fall in or as if in a faint:to keel over from the heat.
  1. Idiomson an even keel, in a steady or stable state:to keep things on an even keel.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
keel1  (kēl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsa central fore-and-aft structural member in the bottom of a hull, extending from the stem to the sternpost and having the floors or frames attached to it, usually at right angles: sometimes projecting from the bottom of the hull to provide stability.
  2. [Literary.]a ship or boat.
  3. a part corresponding to a ship's keel in some other structure, as in a dirigible balloon.
  4. Astronomy(cap.) the constellation Carina.
  5. Botany, Zoologya longitudinal ridge, as on a leaf or bone;
    a carina.
  6. ArchitectureAlso called  brace molding. a projecting molding the profile of which consists of two ogees symmetrically disposed about an arris or fillet.
  7. Idiomson an even keel, in a state of balance;
    steadily:The affairs of state are seldom on an even keel for long.

v.t., v.i. 
  1. to turn or upset so as to bring the wrong side or part uppermost.
  2. keel over: 
    • to capsize or overturn.
    • to fall as in a faint:Several cadets keeled over from the heat during the parade.
keeled, adj. 
  • Old Norse kjǫlr; cognate with Old English cēol keel, ship; see keel2
  • 1325–75; 1895–1900 for def. 9; Middle English kele

keel2  (kēl),USA pronunciation n. [Brit. Dial.]
  1. British Terms, Naval Termskeelboat.
  2. British Termsa keelboat load of coal;
    the amount of coal carried by one keelboat.
  3. British Terms, Weights and Measuresa measure of coal equivalent to 21 long tons and 4 hundredweight (21.5 metric tons).
  • Middle Dutch kiel ship; cognate with Old English cēol ship, German kiel ship (obsolete), keel1
  • late Middle English kele 1375–1425

keel3  (kēl),USA pronunciation v.t. [Brit. Dial.]
  1. British Termsto cool, esp. by stirring.
  • bef. 900; Middle English kelen, Old English cēlan to be cool; akin to cool

keel4  (kēl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a red ocher stain used for marking sheep, lumber, etc.;
  • English)
  • 1475–85; earlier keyle (north and Scots dialect, dialectal); compare Scots Gaelic cìl (itself perh.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

keel /kiːl/ n
  1. one of the main longitudinal structural members of a vessel to which the frames are fastened and that may extend into the water to provide lateral stability
  2. on an even keelwell-balanced; steady
  3. any structure corresponding to or resembling the keel of a ship, such as the central member along the bottom of an aircraft fuselage
  4. a ridgelike part; carina
  1. to capsize

See also keel overEtymology: 14th Century: from Old Norse kjölr; related to Middle Dutch kiel, keel²
keel /kiːl/ n Eastern Brit dialect
  1. a flat-bottomed vessel, esp one used for carrying coal
  2. a measure of coal equal to about 21 tons
Etymology: 14th Century kele, from Middle Dutch kiel; compare Old English cēol ship

'keel' also found in these entries:

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