The WordWeb dictionary defines Winch as:

Lifting device consisting of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank on which a cable or rope winds

From the description I decipher that the rope winds on the crank but actually the rope winds on the cylinder, am I right or the WordWeb's sentence is correct ?

Please add/remove relevant/irrelevant tags.

  • 3
    The rope winds on the cylinder, yes. You're meant to take "a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank" as a discrete entity. This is a case where punctuation would make things clearer: "... a horizontal cylinder, turned by a crank, on which a cable or rope winds." – Robusto Oct 16 '17 at 3:02

From the Oxford Dictionary online:

winch NOUN

  1. A hauling or lifting device consisting of a rope or chain winding round a horizontal rotating drum, turned typically by a crank or by motor.

and from Wiktionary

winch (plural winches)

  1. A machine consisting of a drum on an axle, a friction brake or ratchet and pawl, and a crank handle or prime mover (often an electric or hydraulic motor), with or without gearing, to give increased mechanical advantage when hauling on a rope or cable.
  2. (nautical) A hoisting machine used for loading or discharging cargo, or for hauling in lines.

Much clearer explanations on both sites. Why use WordWeb when many free online (good quality) English dictionaries exist?

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