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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Bitts \Bitts\, n. pl. [Cf. F. bitte, Icel. biti, a beam. ?87.] (Naut.) A frame of two strong timbers fixed perpendicularly in the fore part of a ship, on which to fasten the cables as the ship rides at anchor, or in warping. Other bitts are used for belaying (belaying bitts), for sustaining the windlass (carrick bitts, winch bitts, or windlass bitts), to hold the pawls of the windlass (pawl bitts) etc.


n. (context nautical pluralonly English) A frame composed of two strong oak timbers (bitt-heads) fixed vertically in the fore part of a ship, bolted to the deck beams to which are secured the cables when the ship rode to anchor


Bitts are paired vertical wooden or iron posts mounted either aboard a ship or on a wharf, pier or quay. The posts are used to secure mooring lines, ropes, hawsers, or cables. Bitts aboard wooden sailing ships (sometime called cable-bitts) were large vertical timbers mortised into the keel and used as the anchor cable attachment point. Bitts are carefully manufactured and maintained to avoid any sharp edges which might chafe and weaken the mooring lines.

Usage examples of "bitts".

Roddy Bitts, and touched Penrod and Sam, each in turn, with his sabre.

But Roddy Bitts foresaw that something not within the rules of the game was about to happen.

Roderick Magsworth Bitts, Junior, were growing faint with increasing distance, Sam and Penrod had forgotten their differences and felt well disposed toward each other once more.

This last was employed for the benefit of Master Roderick Magsworth Bitts, Junior, on the Saturday following the flag-raising.

Penrod Schofield and Roderick Bitts and Maurice Levy LURED GEORGIE INTO THE CELLAR AND HAD HIM BEATEN BY NEGROES!

Not his alone: at that very moment Master Roderick Magsworth Bitts, Junior, was suffering also, consequent upon telephoning on the part of Mrs.

Sam Williams appeared in the doorway, and, behind Sam, Master Roderick Magsworth Bitts, Junior.

Master Bitts returned, and his manner was both dogged and apprehensive, the apprehension being more prevalent when he looked at Sam.

Magsworth Bitts inclines to think it was the work of a negro, as only one article was removed and nothing else found to be disturbed.

Master Roderick Magsworth Bitts, and the sound of splintering wood mingled with other sounds.