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 day, when we had got becalmed, the whole ship’s company (almost) went in bathing, and a thrilling incident was the result.
Barney Blake, The Boy Privateer Herrick Johnstone

Should they be becalmed under the cliffs, they might find it impossible to stem it.
The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader W.H.G. Kingston

becalmed, the privateer and the frigate anchored a quarter of a mile apart.
The Old Merchant Marine Ralph D. Paine

Gomera, but were becalmed and had made only thirty miles by the night of the 8th.
The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) John Fiske.

Oftentimes we were becalmed, and there were frequent struggles with head winds and opposing currents.
The ‘Ayesha’ being the adventures of the landing squad of the ‘Emden’ Hellmuth von Mcke

Who’s that been dropping an anchor overboard—we don’t budge an inch—we’re becalmed.
Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville

I’ve been becalmed four years, and while I pray for a little wind to take me—home, you rock me in the trough of uncertainty.
The Translation of a Savage, Complete Gilbert Parker

The breeze may fail, and if she is becalmed we are sure to have her.
Ned Garth W. H. G. Kingston

We have been becalmed many days, and I should be dull indeed were it not for the fishes and birds, and my pen and pencil.
Audubon and his Journals, Volume I (of 2) Maria R. Audubon

They had kept their course too far from shore, and were becalmed in consequence.
Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume II. Charles James Lever

(of a sailing boat or ship) motionless through lack of wind

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


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