1. any of various devices dropped by a chain, cable, or rope to the bottom of a body of water for preventing or restricting the motion of a vessel or other floating object, typically having broad, hooklike arms that bury themselves in the bottom to provide a firm hold.
  2. any similar device for holding fast or checking motion: an anchor of stones.
  3. any device for securing a suspension or cantilever bridge at either end.
  4. any of various devices, as a metal tie, for binding one part of a structure to another.
  5. a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.
  6. Radio and Television. a person who is the main broadcaster on a program of news, sports, etc., and who usually also serves as coordinator of all participating broadcasters during the program; anchorman or anchorwoman; anchorperson.
  7. Television. a program that attracts many viewers who are likely to stay tuned to the network for the programs that follow.
  8. a well-known store, especially a department store, that attracts customers to the shopping center in which it is located.Also called anchor store.
  9. Slang. automotive brakes.
  10. Military. a key position in defense lines.
  11. Also anchorman. Sports.
    1. the person on a team, especially a relay team, who competes last.
    2. the person farthest to the rear on a tug-of-war team.

verb (used with object)

  1. to hold fast by an anchor.
  2. to fix or fasten; affix firmly: The button was anchored to the cloth with heavy thread.
  3. to act or serve as an anchor for: He anchored the evening news.

verb (used without object)

  1. to drop anchor; lie or ride at anchor: The ship anchored at dawn.
  2. to keep hold or be firmly fixed: The insect anchored fast to its prey.
  3. Sports, Radio and Television. to act or serve as an anchor.
  1. at anchor, held in place by an anchor: The luxury liner is at anchor in the harbor.
  2. drag anchor, (of a vessel) to move with a current or wind because an anchor has failed to hold.
  3. drop anchor, to anchor a vessel: They dropped anchor in a bay to escape the storm.
  4. weigh anchor, to raise the anchor: We will weigh anchor at dawn.


  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
  2. an object used to hold something else firmly in placethe rock provided an anchor for the rope
  3. a source of stability or securityreligion was his anchor
    1. a metal cramp, bolt, or similar fitting, esp one used to make a connection to masonry
    2. (as modifier)anchor bolt; anchor plate
    1. the rear person in a tug-of-war team
    2. short for anchorman, anchorwoman
  4. at anchor (of a vessel) anchored
  5. cast anchor, come to anchor or drop anchor to anchor a vessel
  6. drag anchor See drag (def. 13)
  7. ride at anchor to be anchored
  8. weigh anchor to raise a vessel’s anchor or (of a vessel) to have its anchor raised in preparation for departure


  1. to use an anchor to hold (a vessel) in one place
  2. to fasten or be fastened securely; fix or become fixed firmly
  3. (tr) radio television to act as an anchorman on

Old English ancor, borrowed 9c. from Latin ancora “anchor,” from or cognate with Greek ankyra “anchor, hook” (see ankle). A very early borrowing and said to be the only Latin nautical term used in the Germanic languages. The -ch- form emerged late 16c., a pedantic imitation of a corrupt spelling of the Latin word. The figurative sense of “that which gives stability or security” is from late 14c. Meaning “host or presenter of a TV or radio program” is from 1965, short for anchorman.


c.1200, from anchor (n.). Related: Anchored; anchoring.

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