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

  • n. A quadrilateral sail that lacks a boom, has the foot larger than the head, and is bent to a yard hanging obliquely on the mast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A quadrilateral sail bent upon a yard that crosses the mast obliquely; a lug.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A square sail bent upon a yard that hangs obliquely to the mast and is raised or lowered with the sail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A quadrilateral sail bent upon a yard that hangs obliquely to the mast at about one third of its length: a common rig for boats of men-of-war. Also lug.

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

  • n. a sail with four corners that is hoisted from a yard that is oblique to the mast


Possibly from lug1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • It's a Scottish lugsail dinghy of the older variety and she's a beauty.

    [black gold] current choice for header

  • The mainsail and lugsail could be used to run before the wind.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Many carried a bourcet, or lugsail, on the foremast see below for an explanation, or two lugsails on the fore-and mainmasts as their only rig.15

    Champlain's Dream

  • He ordered the “anchor raised and lugsail spread to the wind,” and tried desperately to get clear of a lee shore.

    Champlain's Dream

  • They were two-masted vessels with the mainmast forward, a lugsail, and a large lateen.

    Champlain's Dream

  • The foremast carried a lugsail that he called a bourcet on a yard that crossed the foremast at an oblique angle.

    Champlain's Dream

  • The lateen and lugsail could be close-hauled, allowing a vessel to sail very close to the wind.

    Champlain's Dream

  • The foremast was rigged with a sail that Champlain called bourcet or lugsail, an irregular quadrilateral bent on a diagonal yard.

    Champlain's Dream

  • She began to hoist her lugsail in a dazed, shiftless fashion, while our two boats drifted slowly to leeward.

    The Riddle of the Sands

  • We then discovered a lugsail, which had belonged to one of the ship's boats; this we hoisted; and our craft was ready to sail.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 3


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  • "'Pin her, Joe,' said Bonden. The bowman hooked on at the mainchains, the big lugsail came down with a run, and speaking in a curt, official voice Bonden said, 'Now, sir, if you please. We can't hang about all day under the barky's lee. I'll look after your old parcel.'"
    —Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 27

    February 11, 2008