From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:
2. (Naut.) An iron or pope thimble or grommet worked into or attached to the edges and corners of a sail; -- usually in the plural. The cringles are used for making fast the bowline bridles, earings, etc.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:
48 Moby Thesaurus words for "cringle": air hole, armhole, blowhole, boltrope, bullet-hole, bunghole, canvas, clew, cloth, crowd of sail, deadeye, earing, eye, eyelet, foot, fore-and-aft sail, gasket, grommet, guide, head, keyhole, knothole, leech, loop, loophole, luff, manhole, mousehole, muslin, peephole, pigeonhole, pinhole, placket, placket hole, plain sail, porthole, press of sail, punch-hole, rag, reduced sail, reef point, reefed sail, sail, spiracle, square sail, tap, vent, venthole
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