oar

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oar

1. a long shaft of wood for propelling a boat by rowing, having a broad blade that is dipped into and pulled against the water. Oars were also used for steering certain kinds of ancient sailing boats
2. short for oarsman

Oar

 

the oldest apparatus for moving rowboats through the water. The constituent parts of the oar are the blade, the shaft, and the grip. Oars are differentiated according to size and shape into single-bladed oars for rowing from one side, with support from an oarlock, called loom and paddle oars (with one or two per rower) and into twin-bladed oars for rowing alternately on both sides (on kayaks). The smallest and simplest oars are called paddles. The oars of the largest ancient rowing vessels (galleys, triremes, and others) reached lengths of 14 to 16 m, with up to seven oarsmen placed on each oar. Usually oars are made from a single piece of wood (of ash, maple, pine, and others), with binding at the end of the blade. Aluminum oars are mainly used on pneumatic boats.

What does it mean when you dream about an oar?

Oars represent a journey across the surface of the unconscious. They also symbolize masculine power. Oars penetrate the waters of the emotions and the psyche, moving through the issues at hand. Having only one oar and being motionless, or trying to row with only one oar, may depict the need for a partner or mate.

References in classic literature ?
As for Fedallah, who was seen pulling the harpooneer oar, he had thrown aside his black jacket, and displayed his naked chest with the whole part of his body above the gunwale, clearly cut against the alternating depressions of the watery horizon; while at the other end of the boat Ahab, with one arm, like a fencer's, thrown half backward into the air, as if to counterbalance any tendency to trip: Ahab was seen steadily managing his steering oar as in a thousand boat lowerings ere the White Whale had torn him.
While all these events were occurring, I was labouring at the oar without any hope of freedom; at least I had no hope of obtaining it by ransom, for I was firmly resolved not to write to my father telling him of my misfortunes.
The Count in his box, then, was on a river in an open boat, propelled probably either by oars or poles, for the banks are near and it is working against stream.
I went on board, bidding my men to do so also and loose the hawsers; so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars.
They would grapple the oars, and seizing hold of the gunwhale, capsize the boat, and then we should be entirely at their mercy.
Elizabeth was awakened from the trance created by this scene, and by gazing in that unusual manner at the bot tom of the lake, be the hoarse sounds of Benjamin’s voice, and the dashing of oars, as the heavier boat of the seine-drawers approached the spot where the canoe lay, dragging after it the folds of the net.
The Canadian waters are vocal with these little French chansons, that have been echoed from mouth to mouth and transmitted from father to son, from the earliest days of the colony; and it has a pleasing effect, in a still golden summer evening, to see a batteau gliding across the bosom of a lake and dipping its oars to the cadence of these quaint old ditties, or sweeping along in full chorus on a bright sunny morning, down the transparent current of one of the Canada rivers.
said Dan, pointing to a wild tangle of spare oars and dory-roding, all matted together by the hand of inexperience.
But we shoved off without mischance; the chief mate had the tiller; the third mate the boat-hook; and six or eight oars were at work, in a fashion, as we plunged among the great smooth sickening mounds and valleys of fathomless ink.
And paternally, tenderly, very much as Porthos might have done, he took Raoul in his arms and placed him in the boat, the oars of which, at a signal, immediately were dipped in the waves.
Daylight saw the Arangi under way, her sails drooping heavily in the dead air while the boat's crew toiled at the oars of the whaleboat to tow her out through the narrow entrance.
So near did she come that the rowers on the side next to her pulled in their oars.