WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
sheep•shank  (shēpshangk′),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Naval Termsa kind of knot, hitch, or bend made on a rope to shorten it temporarily.
  • 1635–45; short for sheepshank knot; literal sense unclear

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

sheepshank /ˈʃiːpˌʃæŋk/ n
  1. a knot consisting of two hitches at the ends of a bight made in a rope to shorten it temporarily


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