(ἄγκυρα), the instrument fastened in the bottom of the sea to hold a vessel firm during a storm (Ac 27:29-30,40); from which passage it appears that the vessels of Roman commerce had several anchors, and that they were attached to the stern as well as prow of the boat (see Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, 2, 335). The anchors used by the Romans were for the most part made of iron, and their form resembled that of the modern anchor. The anchor as here represented, and as commonly used, was called bidens, because it had two teeth or flukes. Sometimes it had one only. The following expressions were used for the three principal processes in managing the anchor: Ancoram solvere, ἄγκυραν χαλᾶν, "to loose the anchor;" Ancoram jacere, βάλλειν, ῥίπτειν, "to cast anchor;" Ancoram tollere, αἴρειν, ἀναιρεῖσθαι, ἀνάσπασθαι, "to weigh anchor." The anchor usually lay on the deck, and was attached to a cable (funis), which passed through a hole in the prow, termed oculus. In the heroic times of Greece we find large stones, called εὐναί (sleepers), used instead of anchors (Hom. Iliad, 1, 436). See SHIP.
In Heb 6:19, the word anchor is used metaphorically for a spiritual support in times of trial or doubt; a figure common to modern languages. SEE HOPE.