to deprive (a sailing vessel) of the wind necessary to move it; subject to a calm:
The schooner was becalmed in the horse latitudes for two weeks.
Archaic. to calm; pacify.
Historical Examples

One sail is also said to becalm another when the wind is aft.
Practical Boat-Sailing Douglas Frazar

Ships are generally obliged to be towed into the harbor, in consequence of the high points which tower high, and becalm them.
Torrey’s Narrative William Torrey

An imprisoned man who asks for an Italian book to becalm his fever may be safely presumed to know that language.
Fray Luis de Len James Fitzmaurice-Kelly

becalm, and henceforth think that the peril is mine, not yours.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

I am making a sail according to your lordship’s plan, to becalm the hull of the ship, but want sailcloth for completing it.
The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, Vol. II Thomas Lord Cochrane


1550s, from be- + calm. Related: Becalmed; becalming.


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