Hawser, a large rope or cable of three strands. [Cable.] Strictly, in point of size, it holds an intermediate position between a cable and a towline, though the word is now very generally used in the latter sense. Hawser-laid rope is laid or twisted in the way opposite to that in which the individual strands are twisted. To ascertain its strength, square the circumference and divide by 3 for the breaking strain (in tons); by 4 for the proof strain; and by 6 for the working strain.