What does the word oakum mean?

Usage examples for oakum

  1. Accordingly, the signal for our ship to engage, among others, was hoisted, we being advertised, the night before, to make everything clear for that purpose; and, in so doing, a difference happened between Captain Oakum and his well- beloved cousin and counsellor Mackshane, which had well nigh terminated in an open rupture. – The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett
  2. Mr. Truelove tells me that they made him pick oakum in prison till his fingers were raw, and laughed at him for complaining. – Prisoner for Blasphemy by G. W. [George William] Foote

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