AskDefine | Define thole

Dictionary Definition

thole n : a holder attached to the gunwale of a boat that holds the oar in place and acts as a fulcrum for rowing [syn: peg, pin, tholepin, rowlock, oarlock]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /θəʊl/

Etymology 1

Old English þol.


  1. a pin in the side of a boat which acts as a fulcrum for the oars
    • 1973: The oars squeaked against the tholes, the blades dipped with a steady beat, and the sun beat down: the boat crept across the sea. — Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise

Etymology 2

þolian. Cognate with Swedish tåla.


  1. To suffer or undergo.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      Seventy beds keeps he there teeming mothers are wont that they lie for to thole and bring forth bairns hale so God’s angel to Mary quoth.
  2. To endure, to tolerate, to put up with.
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