The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Hulk \Hulk\, n. [OE. hulke a heavy ship, AS. hulc a light, swift
ship; akin to D. hulk a ship of burden, G. holk, OHG. holcho;
perh. fr. LL. holcas, Gr. ?, prop., a ship which is towed,
fr. ? to draw, drag, tow. Cf. Wolf, Holcad.]
1. The body of a ship or decked vessel of any kind; esp., the
body of an old vessel laid by as unfit for service. "Some
well-timbered hulk." --Spenser.
2. A heavy ship of clumsy build. --Skeat.
3. Anything bulky or unwieldly. --Shak.
Shear hulk, an old ship fitted with an apparatus to fix or
take out the masts of a ship.
The hulks, old or dismasted ships, formerly used as
prisons. [Eng.] --Dickens.