Meaning of capstan

cap•stan

Pronunciation: (kap'stun, -stan), [key]
— n.
  1. any of various windlasses, rotated in a horizontal plane by hand or machinery, for winding in ropes, cables, etc.
  2. a rotating spindle or shaft, powered by an electric motor, that transports magnetic tape past the heads of a tape recorder at a constant speed.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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