Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nautical A fore-and-aft sail set on the mizzenmast.
  • n. Nautical A mizzenmast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. mizzenmast
  • n. A fore-and-aft sail set on a mizzenmast.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Hindmost; nearest the stern
  • n. The hindmost of the fore and aft sails of a three-masted vessel; also, the spanker.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Noting the hindmost pair of horns in a five-horned giraffe, a small pair of projections arising from the lambdoid crest, back of the larger frontal horns.
  • n. Nautical, the aftermost fore-and-aft sail in a ship, set abaft the mizzenmast, and having its head extended by a gaff; a spanker. See spanker.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. third mast from the bow in a vessel having three or more masts; the after and shorter mast of a yawl, ketch, or dandy
  • n. fore-and-aft sail set on the mizzenmast

Etymologies

Middle English mesan, from Old French misaine, Old Spanish mezana or Old Italian mezzana, all ultimately from Latin mediānus, of the middle, from medius, middle; see medhyo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French misaine, modified from Old French migenne (through influence from Italian mezzana), from Catalan mitjana, feminine of mitjan, ultimately from Latin medianus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Puff follows puff, and I am glad the mizzen is furled.

    Chapter 9

  • The tall mast is the mainmast, the short mast is the mizzen; some ketches carry square sails on the main, some carry a topsail on the mizzen -- the distinctive mark of the ketch being that the mizzen is a pole-mast and stepped in front of the stern-post.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891

  • The top of the mizzen was the first to disappear, then followed the main-top; and soon, of what had been a noble vessel, not a vestige was to be seen.

    The Survivors of the Chancellor

  • American and other, were at half-mast, as was the admiral's square blue flag at the mizzen, which is never lowered while he remains on duty on board.

    From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life

  • The students sat in the open cockpit to learn terms such as mizzen mast, jib and stanchion.

    The News Tribune - Tacoma - - HOMEPAGE

  • " "Raft coming!" called the mizzen lookout, stimulat-ing a rush toward the stern.

    Mission to Moulokin

  • When I finished, I pulled my sleeping bag out from the foot locker, hauled it up top to the main deck and spread it out between the main and mizzen masts.

    Jerry Nelson: Sea Spray and Time Travel

  • Abruptly, from the mizzen-mast, came a snap of breakage and crash of fabric.

    CHAPTER XX

  • He bounded away along the poop again, shouting for men for the mizzen-braces.

    CHAPTER XXXVIII

  • They did it on deck, sir, right aft there by the mizzen-traveler.

    THE TERRIBLE SOLOMONS

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