Definitions

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

  • n. Nautical A pole that extends diagonally across a fore-and-aft sail from the lower part of the mast to the peak of the sail.
  • n. Nautical A bowsprit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spar between mast and upper outer corner of a spritsail on sailing boats.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A shoot; a sprout.
  • n. A small boom, pole, or spar, which crosses the sail of a boat diagonally from the mast to the upper aftmost corner, which it is used to extend and elevate.
  • intransitive v. To sprout; to bud; to germinate, as barley steeped for malt.
  • transitive v. To throw out with force from a narrow orifice; to eject; to spurt out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sprout; bud; germinate, as barley steeped for malt.
  • To throw out with force from a narrow orifice; eject; spurt.
  • To split.
  • n. A sprout; a shoot.
  • n. A stick; a pole; especially, a boatman's pole.
  • n. Nautical:
  • n. A small pole, spar, or boom which crosses the sail of a boat diagonally from the mast to the upper aftmost corner, which it is used to extend and elevate.
  • n. The bowsprit.
  • n. A rush: same as sprat, 1.
  • n. See the quotation.

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

  • n. a light spar that crosses a fore-and-aft sail diagonally

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English sprēot, pole; see sper- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English sprēot (Wiktionary)

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