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an·chor (ăngkər)
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n.
1. Nautical A heavy object attached to a vessel by a cable, rope, or chain and dropped into the water to keep the vessel in place either by its weight or by its flukes, which grip the bottom.
2. A rigid point of support, as for securing a rope.
3. A source of security or stability.
4.
a. An athlete, usually the strongest member of a team, who performs the last stage of a relay race or other competition.
b. The person at the end of a tug-of-war team.
5. An anchorperson.
v. an·chored, an·chor·ing, an·chors
v.tr.
1.
a. To secure (a vessel) with an anchor.
b. To secure with a fastener or similar device: bolts anchoring the deck to the house. See Synonyms at fasten.
c. To cause to be fixed in place; fix or immobilize: fear anchoring him in the dark hallway; mussels anchoring themselves to a rock.
d. To cause to feel attached or secure: memories anchoring us to our home town.
e. To provide a basis for; establish or found: "innovative cuisines firmly anchored in tradition" (Gourmet Magazine).
2. Sports To serve as an anchor for (a team or competition): anchor a relay race.
3. To narrate or coordinate (a newscast).
4. To provide or form an anchor store for: Two major stores anchor each end of the shopping mall.
v.intr.
Nautical To drop anchor or lie at anchor.

[Middle English anker, ancher, from Old English ancor, from Latin ancora, anchora, from Greek ankura.]
(click for a larger image)
anchor
top to bottom: Danforth, admiralty, and stockless anchors

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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