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

  • n. A quadrilateral sail extended by a spar running diagonally to the sail's peak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of three- or four-sided fore-and-aft sail and its rig, supporting the leech of the sail by means of a sprit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sail extended by a sprit.
  • n. A sail formerly hung under the bowsprit, from the spritsail yard.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical:
  • n. A sail extended by a sprit, chiefly used in small boats. See sprit, 3.
  • n. A sail, no longer in use, attached to a yard slung across the bowsprit of large vessels.

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

  • n. a fore-and-aft sail extended by a sprit


sprit +‎ sail (Wiktionary)


  • The cartilage of their nose is perforated, and a piece of reed, from eight to ten inches long, thrust through it, which seamen whimsically term their spritsail-yard.

    Narrative of a Voyage to India; of a Shipwreck on board the Lady Castlereagh; and a Description of New South Wales

  • The bowsprit formerly had one yard, called the spritsail yard.

    The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence

  • Except a small fillet of grass the natives wore not a particle of clothing, though there were several scarifications on their bodies; and what sailors call a spritsail-yard run through their nostrils which added to the ferocity of their appearance.

    Adventures in Australia

  • The spritsail filled with the wind, suddenly, careening the frail open craft till it seemed it would surely capsize.

    Chapter 19

  • I came on deck to find the Ghost heading up close on the port tack and cutting in to windward of a familiar spritsail close-hauled on the same tack ahead of us.

    Chapter 19

  • The spritsail flapped emptily and the boat righted to an even keel, causing the two men swiftly to change position.

    Chapter 19

  • As the spritsail was taken in and the boat headed on to the beach, he was aware of a distinct hurt at sight of Joan at the steering-oar, standing erect and swaying her strength to it as she resisted the pressures that tended to throw the craft broadside in the surf.

    Chapter 10

  • The exchange was made, and the salmon boat got up its spritsail and headed down the bay toward the marshes off San Rafael.

    White and Yellow

  • One of the Italians took a turn with it over a cleat, while I hastened to lower our big spritsail.


  • Wherever the spray struck, it turned instantly to frost, and the dipping boom of the spritsail was quickly fringed with icicles.


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