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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
a spar formerly used on board of ships, as a crane to hoist the flukes of the anchor to the top of the bow, without injuring the sides of the ship; called also the fish davit.
Curved arms of timber or iron, projecting over a ships side of stern, having tackle to raise or lower a boat, swing it in on deck, rig it out for lowering, etc.; called also boat davits.
Origin: cf. F. Davier forceps, davit, cooper's instrument, g. David davit; all probably from the proper name David.