sail

A sail is the big piece of cloth attached to a mast that propels a sailboat through the water by catching the wind. Part of learning to sail a boat is learning how to use the sails.

Most sailboats have two sails, the mainsail and the jib or headsail on the front of the boat. When you sail, you pilot the boat, or simply ride on it — you can also say you go for a sail. Additionally, the verb sail is used when something seems to float on the air: "The kite sails high in the blue sky." You "sail through" something when it's very easy and quick.

Definitions of sail
  1. noun
    a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel
    synonyms: canvas, canvass, sheet
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    types:
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    balloon sail
    any light loose sail
    crossjack, mizzen course
    the lowermost sail on a mizzenmast
    fore-and-aft sail
    any sail not set on a yard and whose normal position is in a fore-and-aft direction
    foresail
    the lowest sail on the foremast of a square-rigged vessel
    headsail
    any sail set forward of the foremast of a vessel
    mainsail
    the lowermost sail on the mainmast
    main-topsail
    a topsail set on the mainmast
    press of canvas, press of sail
    the greatest amount of sail that a ship can carry safely
    royal
    a sail set next above the topgallant on a royal mast
    save-all
    a sail set to catch wind spilled from a larger sail
    skysail
    the sail above the royal on a square-rigger
    square sail
    a four-sided sail set beneath a horizontal yard suspended at the middle from a mast
    topgallant, topgallant sail
    a sail set on a yard of a topgallant mast
    topsail
    a sail (or either of a pair of sails) immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast
    fore-topsail
    the topsail on a foremast
    gaff-headed sail, gaffsail
    a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail suspended from a gaff
    fore-and-aft topsail, gaff topsail
    a triangular fore-and-aft sail with its foot along the gaff and its luff on the topmast
    jib
    any triangular fore-and-aft sail (set forward of the foremast)
    lateen, lateen sail
    a triangular fore-and-aft sail used especially in the Mediterranean
    lug, lugsail
    a sail with four corners that is hoisted from a yard that is oblique to the mast
    main course
    a square mainsail
    mizen, mizzen
    fore-and-aft sail set on the mizzenmast
    spanker
    a fore-and-aft sail set on the aftermost lower mast (usually the mizzenmast) of a vessel
    spinnaker
    a large and usually triangular headsail; carried by a yacht as a headsail when running before the wind
    spritsail
    a fore-and-aft sail extended by a sprit
    staysail
    a fore-and-aft sail set on a stay (as between two masts)
    type of:
    piece of cloth, piece of material
    a separate part consisting of fabric
  2. noun
    any structure that resembles a sail
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    type of:
    construction, structure
    a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts
  3. noun
    an ocean trip taken for pleasure
    synonyms: cruise
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    type of:
    ocean trip, voyage
    an act of traveling by water
  4. verb
    traverse or travel on (a body of water)
    “We sailed the Atlantic”
    “He sailed the Pacific all alone”
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    type of:
    journey, travel
    travel upon or across
  5. verb
    travel on water propelled by wind or by other means
    “The QE2 will sail to Southampton tomorrow”
    synonyms: navigate, voyage
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    types:
    astrogate
    navigate in space
    cruise
    sail or travel about for pleasure, relaxation, or sightseeing
    type of:
    journey, travel
    undertake a journey or trip
  6. verb
    travel on water propelled by wind
    “I love sailing, especially on the open sea”
    “the ship sails on”
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    types:
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    run
    sail before the wind
    luff, point
    sail close to the wind
    weather
    sail to the windward of
    beat
    sail with much tacking or with difficulty
    rack, scud
    run before a gale
    outpoint
    sail closer to the wind than
    tack, wear round
    turn into the wind
    wear ship
    turn away from the wind
    change course, gybe, jib, jibe
    shift from one side of the ship to the other
    type of:
    boat
    ride in a boat on water
  7. verb
    move with sweeping, effortless, gliding motions
    “Shreds of paper sailed through the air”
    synonyms: sweep
    brush, sweep
    sweep across or over
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    types:
    swan
    sweep majestically
    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
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