capstan n : a windlass rotated in a horizontal plane around a vertical axis; used on ships for weighing anchor or raising heavy sails
Etymologycabestan, from cabestrante, cabrestante, from cabestrar to bind with a halter, from cabestrohalter, from capistrum halter, from capere to hold (see capacious); or perhaps the Spanish is from caper goat + -stans, present participle of stare to stand; confer chèvre she-goat, also a machine for raising heavy weights.
- A vertical cleated drum or cylinder, revolving on an upright spindle, and surmounted by a drumhead with sockets for bars or levers. It is much used, especially on shipboard, for moving or raising heavy weights or exerting great power by traction upon a rope or cable, passing around the drum. It is operated either by steam power or by a number of men walking around the capstan, each pushing on the end of a lever fixed in its socket.
- A rotating spindle used to move recording tape through the mechanism of a tape recorder.
vertical cleated drum or cylinder
- Finnish: vintturi, ankkuripeli
- French: cabestan
- German: Spill
- Italian: cabestano
- Korean: 캡스턴
part of a tape recorder
- German: Capstan
- Korean: 캡스턴
- capstan bar - one of the long bars or levers by which the capstan is worked; a handspike.
- pawl the capstan - to drop the pawls so that they will catch in the notches of the pawl ring, and prevent the capstan from turning back.
- rig the capstan - to prepare the for use, by putting the bars in the sockets.
- surge the capstan - to slack the tension of the rope or cable wound around it.
Capstan may refer to: