marline, n. [LG. marlien, marling, or D. marling, marlijn, fr. D. marren to tie, prob. akin to E. moor, v., and lijn line: cf.F. merlin. See Moor, v., Line.].
A small line composed of two strands a little twisted, used for winding around ropes and cables, to prevent their being weakened by fretting. [1913 Webster]
Marling spike(Naut.), an iron tool tapering to a point, used to separate the strands of a rope in splicing and in marling. It has an eye in the thick end to which a lanyard is attached. See Fid.[Written also marlin spike] --
Marline-spike bird. [The name alludes to the long middle tail feathers.](Zoöl.)(a)A tropic bird.(b)A jager, or skua gull.
marline, v. t. [F. merliner.].
To wind marline around; as, to marline a rope. [1913 Webster]