- a machine with a drum that rotates round a vertical spindle and is turned by a motor or lever, used for hauling in heavy ropes, etc
- any similar device, such as the rotating shaft in a tape recorder that pulls the tape past the head
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
cap•stan /ˈkæpstən, -stæn/USA pronunciation n. [countable]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- Mechanical Engineering, Nautical, Naval Termsa windlass rotated in a horizontal plane for winding in ropes, etc.
cap•stan (kap′stən, -stan),USA pronunciation n.
- Mechanical Engineering, Nautical, Naval Termsany of various windlasses, rotated in a horizontal plane by hand or machinery, for winding in ropes, cables, etc.
- Sound Reproductiona rotating spindle or shaft, powered by an electric motor, that transports magnetic tape past the heads of a tape recorder at a constant speed.
- Latin capistrum
- Old Provencal cabestan, variant of cabestran, presumably present participle of *cabest(r)ar, a verb, verbal derivative of cabestre halter
- Middle French cabestan(t)
- Middle English 1350–1400
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
capstan /ˈkæpstən/ n
'capstan' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):