To muffle the oars

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To muffle the oars to put something round that part which rests in the rowlock, to prevent noise in rowing.
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Usage

In literature:

The creaking of the oars sounded muffled and ghostly, and none of the men in the boat seemed to be inclined to converse.
"Dope" by Sax Rohmer
But if we go by water we can muffle our oars and drop down absolutely silently to the wharf.
"The Pit Prop Syndicate" by Freeman Wills Crofts
The oars had been muffled with cloths so as to make no sound in the rowlocks.
"The Lion of the North" by G.A. Henty
As soon as the night fell, a boat with muffled oars was manned, to carry the messenger on shore.
"Tom Cringle's Log" by Michael Scott
Soon he heard the sound of muffled oars and a dark shape seemed to rise from the water in front of him.
"Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession" by Benjamin Wood
One hundred and fifty fighting men would go to the assault, in fourteen row-boats, with muffled oars.
"The Mayor of Troy" by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
Our object being to take the slavers by surprise the oars were of course muffled, and the strictest silence enjoined.
"The Congo Rovers" by Harry Collingwood
We pulled steadily on for half an hour, and then, that no precaution might be omitted, the crew were ordered to muffle their oars.
"Under the Meteor Flag" by Harry Collingwood
With muffled oars and in perfect silence we pulled towards where the wreck was supposed to be.
"Salt Water" by W. H. G. Kingston
Accordingly four boats were manned with well-armed crews, and with muffled oars set out on a dark night to patrol the river.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
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In poetry:

And so beside the Silent Sea
I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.
"The Eternal Goodness" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Vain is the task; I strive no more
To learn the secret of their fate;
Till sounds for me the muffled oar,
I can but hope and wait.
"My Lost Friends" by John Lawson Stoddard