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English definition of “capstan”

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capstan

noun [C] uk   /ˈkæp.stən/ us  
a machine with a spinning vertical cylinder that is used, especially on ships, for pulling heavy objects with a rope a thin, spinning cylinder in a tape recorder (= a machine that records and plays back sound) that pulls the tape through the machine
(Definition of capstan from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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