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anchor, device cast overboard to secure a ship, boat, or other floating object by means of weight, friction, or hooks called flukes. In ancient times an anchor was often merely a large stone, a bag or basket of stones, a bag of sand, or, as with the Egyptians, a lead-weighted log. The Greeks are credited with the first use of iron anchors, while the Romans had metal devices with arms similar to modern anchors. The ordinary modern anchor consists of a shank (the stem, at the top of which is the anchor ring), a stock (the crosspiece at the top of the shank, either fixed or removable), a crown (the bottom portion), and arms, attached near the base of the shank at a right angle to the stock and curving upward to end in flat, triangular flukes. Other types of anchors include the patent anchor, which has either no stock at all or a stock lying in the same plane as the arms; the stream, or stern anchor, lighter than the regular anchor and used in narrow or congested waters where there is no room for the vessel to swing with the tide; and the grapnel, a small four-armed anchor used to recover lost objects. A sea anchor is a wooden or metal framework covered with canvas and weighted at the bottom; it is a temporary device used by disabled ships. Modern ships have several anchors; usually there are two forward and two aft. Formerly made of wrought iron, anchors are now usually made of forged steel.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


A metal device fastened on the outside of a wall and tied to the end of a rod or metal strap connecting it with an opposite wall, to prevent bulging; often consisting of a fanciful decorative design.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a device used to hold a ship or other floating craft in place in an open area of water. Two kinds of anchor are distinguished: ship anchors and special-purpose anchors. An anchor must be strong and easy to handle and must take and hold any ground well. Anchors may be described according to holding power, which is defined as the force that must be applied per unit of anchor weight to pull the anchor out of the ground when its shank is horizontal. The holding power depends on the design and weight of the anchor and on the type of bottom ground.

Figure 1. Modern admiralty anchor: (1) stock, (2) shank, (3) fluke, (4) arm

The first anchors, which appeared more than 4,000 years ago, took the form of a stone attached to a rope. Such an anchor may be called an anchor stone. The prototype of the admiralty anchor, the most commonly used anchor in the days of the sailing fleets, was developed about 3,000 years ago; it was fashioned from wood. The admiralty anchor (Figure 1) works in the following manner: the lower end of the shank, called the crown, and one end of the stock settle on the bottom; when an attempt is made to pull the anchor along the bottom, the entire length of the

Figure 2. Types of modern ship anchor: (a) Hall anchor, (b) Baldt anchor, (c) Gruson-Hein anchor, (d) Bayers anchor, (e) Matrosov anchor, (f) Danforth anchor

stock comes to rest on the bottom, and one of the flukes digs into the ground. Anchors of this design are reliable and have good holding power (6–12 kilograms-force per 1 kilogram-force of anchor weight). Since, however, the stock and flukes set in mutually perpendicular planes, paying out the admiralty anchor and stowing it are difficult tasks. Use of the admiralty anchor often resulted in accidents involving its own ship or ships passing over the anchor.

Figure 3. Permanent mooring anchors: (a) Mitchell screw anchor, (b) segment-type anchor, (c) directional anchor

Naval evolution, particularly the construction of larger ships, required the design of anchors that would be easy to handle and would have greater holding power. Virtually all anchors today are made with pivoting flukes and no stock. The most efficient and, consequently, most widely used anchor designs (Figure 2) were developed by the Englishman Hall, the Americans Baldt and Bayers, and the German Hein, whose design was modified at the request of the German firm Gruson. The anchor designed by the Soviet engineer I. R. Matrosov has given a good account of itself, and the holding power of the American Danforth anchor is rated at 200 or more kilograms-force. The world’s largest anchor, which was built in the United States in 1954, weighs 27.2 tons. Today’s anchors are made of cast or welded steel.

Permanent mooring anchors of various designs (Figure 3) are used for floating beacons, anchor buoys, dredges, and other structures that must be moored for lengthy periods of time. The anchor proposed by the English hydraulic engineer Mitchell is considered the best of this type.

Special-purpose anchors (Figure 4) are used in various situations. Sea anchors are used by small ships to reduce drift. The

Figure 4. Special-purpose anchors: (a) sea anchor, (b) ice anchor, (c) grapple, (d) mushroom anchor

simplest sea anchor consists of a canvas cone. Ice anchors, which are used by vessels navigating through ice, usually have one arm and are merely attached to the edge of an ice crack or to the edge of a hole cut in the ice. Special-purpose anchors are extremely varied in design and weight and may have several arms, as does the grapple, or may have none.


Skriagin, L. N. Kniga o iakoriakh. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about an anchor?

Anchors generally convey positive connotations of security, stability, and a harbor against storms. Large bodies of water frequently symbolize the unconscious (or, sometimes, the emotions), making boats vehicles for negotiating the unconscious. Anchors may thus indicate a stable relationship with the unconscious or shelter against the “storms” of the emotions. Loss of an anchor indicates feeling adrift. Less positively, anchors may symbolize a resistance to change or a clinging to a sense of security. As with all dream symbols, the tone and setting of the dream indicate which interpretation is appropriate.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(civil engineering)
A device connecting a structure to a heavy masonry or concrete object to a metal plate or to the ground to hold the structure in place.
(computer science)
A tag that indicates either the source or destination of a hyperlink; for example, HTML anchors are used to create links within a document or to another document.
A device, such as a metal rod, wire,or strap, for fixing one object to another, such as specially formed metal connectors used to fasten together timbers, masonry, or trusses.
(invertebrate zoology)
An anchor-shaped spicule in the integument of sea cucumbers.
An anchor-shaped ossicle in echinoderms.
(mechanical engineering)
In steam plowing, a vehicle located on the side of the field opposite that of the engine and maintaining the tension on the endless wire by means of a pulley.
A device for a piping system that maintains the correct position and direction of the pipes and controls pipe movement occurring as a result of thermal expansion.
A device that prevents the movement of sand cores in molds.
(naval architecture)
A device attached by cable to a ship and dropped overboard so that its hooks or flukes engage the bottom and hold the ship at that location.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

anchor, anchorage

medieval anchors, 10
anchor, 9
anchors, 1
1. A device such as a metal rod, wire, or strap, for fixing one object to another, as specially formed metal connectors used to fasten together timbers, masonry, trusses, etc.
2. In prestressed concrete, a device to lock the stressed tendon in position so that it will retain its stressed condition.
3. In precast concrete construction, a device used to attach the precast units to the building frame.
4. In slabs on grade, or walls, a device used to fasten to rock or adjacent structures to prevent movement of the slab or wall with respect to the foundation, adjacent structure, or rock.
5. A support which holds one end of a timber fast.
6. A device used to secure a window or doorframe to the building structure; usually adjustable in three dimensions; also see doorframe anchor.
8. The anchor-shaped dart in the egg-and-dart molding; also called anchor dart.
9. A device used in a piping system to secure the piping to a structure; typically provided by a metal insert in an overhead concrete slab or beam.
10. A wrought-iron clamp, of Flemish origin, on the exterior side of a brick building wall that is connected to the opposite wall by a steel tie-rod to prevent the two walls from spreading apart; these clamps were often in the shape of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


emblem of optimism; steadfastly secured the soul in adversity. [N.T.: Hebrews, 6:18–19]
See: Hope
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. any of several devices, usually of steel, attached to a vessel by a cable and dropped overboard so as to grip the bottom and restrict the vessel's movement
a. the rear person in a tug-of-war team
b. short for anchorman, anchorwoman
3. at anchor (of a vessel) anchored
4. cast, come to, or drop anchor to anchor a vessel
5. drag anchor See drag
6. ride at anchor to be anchored
7. weigh anchor to raise a vessel's anchor or (of a vessel) to have its anchor raised in preparation for departure
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(Or "hyperlink", "button", formerly "span", "region", "extent") An area within the content of a hypertext node (e.g. a web page) which is the source or destination of a link. A source anchor may be a word, phrase, image or the whole node. A destination anchor may be a whole node or some position within the node.

A hypertext browser usually displays a source anchor in some distinctive way, e.g. marked with a special symbol or drawn in a different colour, font or style. When the user activates the link (e.g. by clicking on it with the mouse), the browser displays the destination anchor to which the link refers. Some anchors only look different when the mouse is over them but this forces the user to hunt for them when they should be obvious.

In HTML, anchors are created with the <a..>..</a> construct. The opening "a" tag of a source anchor has an "href" (hypertext reference) attribute giving the destination in the form of a URL - usually a whole node or "page". E.g.

<a href=""> Free On-line Dictionary of Computing</a>

Destination anchors are only used in HTML to name a position within a page using a "name" attribute. E.g.

<a name="chapter3">

The name or "fragment identifier" is appended to the URL of the page after a "#":

(Though it is generally better to break pages into smaller units than to have large pages with named sections).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(1) See anchor tag.

(2) In desktop publishing, a format code that keeps a graphic near or next to a text paragraph. If text is added, causing the paragraph to move to a subsequent page, the graphic image is moved along with the anchor.

(3) In a GUI builder (development environment for creating a user interface), a format code that keeps a button, message or other interface control aligned to some part of the window. When the window is expanded, the corners of the control that are not anchored move with the window borders, but not the anchored corner. See user interface control.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.


Dream interpretation is very personal and each dream speaks to you in the most intimate way. The anchor symbol could have varying meaning depending on what is going on in your life. It may be saying “Stay put!” or “This is a good place to lay down your anchor.” Dreams involving anchors are hints from your unconscious and may suggest a need to reflect and economize.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The support anchoring force of the inflatable retrievable anchor is the normal supporting force imposed on the surface of the surrounding soil by the pallets.
where P is the support anchoring force, [r.sub.0] is the outer radius of the pallet, [r.sub.1] the inner radius of the pallet, [[sigma]] is the tensile strength of the pallet, t is the thickness of the pallet, and k is the coefficient.
Now the anchoring tool cannot be directly imposed on the Phyllostachys pubescens anchor rod due to material restriction.
To examine the effects of different spatial processing abilities on anchoring behavior, we ranked the 66 students according to their scores on a spatial ability test developed by Lu, Lu, and Ou (1994) (0.76 internal consistency coefficient).
He's already sold units to Xstrata Nickel which is using his system as an anchoring device for their retrieval systems in confined spaces at their smelter.
When snow ice is present in this region, the ROV's ability to venture beneath the surface for anchoring is a valuable asset.
The thickness of the reinforcement body is equal to the width of the anchoring zone, which is also equal to the length of the anchor.
Consider the following basic supplies and fabrication steps in developing your own breakaway anchoring system:
If you're anchoring in strong winds, you may actually have to put the engine in forward gear to control the speed and direction of backward drift.
We're going to show you five fasteners that will handle just about any anchoring project around your house.
When anchoring in shallow water we prefer the Danforth as it digs into the sand a little better.