a straight cleated drum or cylinder revolving on an upright spindle and surmounted by a drumhead with sockets for pubs or levers it's much used especially on shipboard for going or increasing hefty weights or exerting great power by traction upon a line or cable moving round the drum it's managed either by steam energy or by several males travelling the capstan each pressing from the end of a lever fixed with its socket
- a windlass rotated in a horizontal airplane around a vertical axis; utilized on vessels for evaluating anchor or increasing hefty sails
- A vertical cleated drum or cylinder, revolving on an upright spindle, and surmounted by a drumhead with sockets for bars or levers. It really is much made use of, specially on shipboard, for going or increasing hefty loads or exerting great-power by grip upon a line or cable, moving all over drum. It's operated either by vapor energy or by a wide range of guys walking on the capstan, each pressing regarding end of a lever fixed with its plug.
late 14c., from Old French cabestant, from Old Tested
Admiral Nelson, also, on a capstan of gun-metal, stands his mast-head in Trafalgar Square; and ever when most obscured by that London smoke, token is yet given that a hidden hero is there; for where there is smoke, must be fire.