from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a topsail set on the mainmast.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In squarerigged vessels, the sail above the mainsail.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a topsail set on the mainmast
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Thus a few minutes of the voyage were lost by backing the Elsinore's main-topsail and deadening her way while the service was read and O'Sullivan was slid overboard with the inevitable sack of coal at his feet.
Simultaneously, there was the shrieking of a parrel, up the main; and I knew that someone, or something, had let go the main-topsail haul-yards.
Suddenly her main-topsail went, yard and all, in a terrific squall; she had to bear up under bare poles, and disappeared.
All next day we lay hove to under a close-reefed main-topsail, which, being interpreted, means that the only sail set was the main-topsail, and that that was close reefed; moreover, that the ship was laid at right angles to the wind and the yards braced sharp up.
But he hurried to the helm, put it hard down, while Wilson, leaving the line, hauled at the main-topsail brace to bring the ship to the wind.
"We're the terrier at the rat hole, sir," said Bush, coming back to Hornblower as soon as Hotspur had lain-no with her main-topsail to the mast.
Two lengths of the main-topsail halliards; he had to keep his head clear to prevent his fumbling fingers from entangling them.
Or it was as if in a dead calm the main-topsail yard had fallen without warning from its slings on to the deck.
When she had approached near, I filled the main-topsail, and continued to yaw the ship, while she continued to come down, wearing occasionally to prevent her passing under our stern.
The gale continued varying from N.E. to E.S. E. without increasing much, until the 31st, when it blew away our reefed foresail, and close-reefed main-topsail; fortunately, the sea did not rise in proportion to the strength of the gale, or we must have lost all our boats.