Pronunciation: (kut'wô"tur, -wot"ur), [key]
a. the forward edge of the stem of a vessel, dividing the water as the vessel advances.
b. a vertical timber construction set forward of and following the stem of a wooden vessel below the water line, usually curving forward above the water line to support a beak-head or figurehead.
2. Civ. Engin.a sharply pointed upstream face of a bridge pier, for resisting the effects of moving water or ice.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.