Plimsoll line

[ܒplimsǝl; ܒplimsōl] also Plimsoll mark

ˈplimsǝl; ˈplimsōl also Plimsoll mark a marking on a ship's side showing the limit of submersion legal under various sea conditions.

Etymology: named after Samuel Plimsoll (1824-98), the English politician whose agitation in the 1870s resulted in the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876, ending the practice of sending to sea overloaded and heavily insured old ships, from which the owners profited if they sank.

See the Introduction, Abbreviations and Pronunciation for further details.

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