hammock, suspended bed, usually of netting, canvas, or leather. The hammock and its name were introduced to Europeans by Christopher Columbus, who learned of them from Native Americans. While the plaited hammock seems to be native to the Western Hemisphere, blankets have served the same purpose among primitive tribes in other parts of the world. The hammock was formerly used to conserve space on naval vessels. It has served as a means of conveyance in tropical areas.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.