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Figuratively, a source of security and confidence. An anchor in Christian tradition is a symbol of hope, from a passage in Hebrews 6:19; it is also the emblem of St Clement, who was martyred by being thrown into the sea with an anchor round his neck.

weigh anchor (of a ship) take up the anchor when ready to start sailing.

See also foul anchor.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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