Meaning of CAPSTAN in English

CAPSTAN

ˈkapstən noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English

1. : a machine for moving or raising heavy weights (as in warping a ship or hoisting an anchor) by winding cable (as a chain or hawser) around a vertical spindle-mounted drum which is rotated manually by bars fitted into sockets in the drumhead or driven by steam or electric power, pawls at the foot of the drum permitting rotation in one direction only — compare winch 2, windlass

2. : a flangeless pulley used to control the motion of magnetic tape through a recorder

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.