from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A topsail set flying from the deck, with its Luff laced to a pole called a ‘sprit.’ This sail does not project beyond the gaff-end like a club-topsail, and it must not be confounded with the spritsail, spritsail-topsail, or sprit sail top-gallantsail.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The sprit-topsail yard under the reaching bowsprit twitched. one end flying into the air, then fell, broken, to hang close to the sea.
The bowsprit staved very much, and was to appearance almost as a fourth mast: the more so, as she carried a square spritsail and sprit-topsail.