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

  • adj. Being, relating to, or rigged with a triangular sail hung on a long yard that is attached at an angle to the top of a short mast.
  • n. A lateen-rigged boat.
  • n. A lateen sail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A triangular fore-and-aft sail set on a boom in such way that the tack is attached to the hull of the vessel and the free end of the boom lifts the sail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a peculiar rig used in the Mediterranean and adjacent waters, esp. on the northern coast of Africa; pertaining to a lateen sail. See below.
  • adj. rigged with a triangular (lateen sail).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Literally, Latin: a word used only in lateen sail, lateen yard, lateen rig. Also spelled latteen.

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

  • n. a triangular fore-and-aft sail used especially in the Mediterranean
  • adj. rigged with a triangular (lateen) sail


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

French (voile) latine, lateen (sail), feminine of latin, Latin (from its use in the Mediterranean), from Old French; see Latin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French latine ("Latin")


  • Their ships with triangular sails known as lateen rigs allowed for greater manoeuvrability than the square-rigged cogs and knars, but they lacked the strength to make them contenders on the open oceans.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • In addition, the Arabs developed a highly effective triangular sail, called a lateen, and the kamal, a navigating device that enabled them to determine latitude by gauging the height of the Pole Star above the horizon.

    The Durable Dhow

  • It was rigged, as all the boats on the Lake of Geneva are, with what are called lateen sails.

    Rollo in Geneva

  • His crew sullenly tailed on to the halyards, and the strange, outlandish sail, lateen in rig and dyed a warm brown, rose in the air.


  • After waiting a few minutes longer, the crew hoisted the lateen sail, and Yellow Handkerchief steered down toward the mouth of San Rafael Creek.


  • In a room near the boatyard I find a craftsman sawing away at a tiny lateen sail for a model dhow.

    Richard Bangs: Bahrain: Once Was Paradise, Part 2

  • LynnFlewelling 9:08 pm: Little fishing boats were coming in for the night, scudding across the choppy harbor, their lateen sails black moth wings against the vermillion sunset.

    Transcript: Well-Rounded Worlds with Lynn Flewelling « Coyote Con

  • There was a red cross of St. George to be painted on the lateen sail, perhaps with a gold border.

    In Spite of Their Declaration of Bombs

  • In the distance, at the horizon, there were sails, the sails of lateen-rigged vessels.

    Cinnamon Roll

  • The single lateen-rigged mast was stepped solidly into the keep fore of the cabin.

    The Lives of Felix Gunderson


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  • "Lateen-sails, are triangular sails, frequently used by xebecs, polacres, settees, and other vessels navigated in the Mediterranean seas."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 215

    October 11, 2008

  • "There were a fair number of country craft moving in and out in the morning light, tunny-boats and coral-fishers: and two corsair-xebecs with immense black lateen sails passed the Worcester on the opposite tack, low to the water, moving very fast."

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 178

    February 14, 2008