The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cable \Ca"ble\ (k[=a]"b'l), n. [F. c[^a]ble, LL. capulum,
caplum, a rope, fr. L. capere to take; cf. D., Dan., & G.
kabel, from the French. See Capable.]
1. A large, strong rope or chain, of considerable length,
used to retain a vessel at anchor, and for other purposes.
It is made of hemp, of steel wire, or of iron links.
2. A rope of steel wire, or copper wire, usually covered with
some protecting or insulating substance; as, the cable of
a suspension bridge; a telegraphic cable.
3. (Arch) A molding, shaft of a column, or any other member
of convex, rounded section, made to resemble the spiral
twist of a rope; -- called also cable molding.
Bower cable, the cable belonging to the bower anchor.
Cable road, a railway on which the cars are moved by a
continuously running endless rope operated by a stationary
Cable's length, the length of a ship's cable. Cables in the
merchant service vary in length from 100 to 140 fathoms or
more; but as a maritime measure, a cable's length is
either 120 fathoms (720 feet), or about 100 fathoms (600
feet, an approximation to one tenth of a nautical mile).
(a) That part of a vessel where the cables are stowed.
(b) A coil of a cable.
Sheet cable, the cable belonging to the sheet anchor.
Stream cable, a hawser or rope, smaller than the bower
cables, to moor a ship in a place sheltered from wind and
Submarine cable. See Telegraph.
To pay out the cable, To veer out the cable, to slacken
it, that it may run out of the ship; to let more cable run
out of the hawse hole.
To serve the cable, to bind it round with ropes, canvas,
etc., to prevent its being, worn or galled in the hawse,
To slip the cable, to let go the end on board and let it
all run out and go overboard, as when there is not time to
weigh anchor. Hence, in sailor's use, to die.