Definitions

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

  • n. A square sail set above the lowest sail on the mast of a square-rigged ship.
  • n. A triangular or square sail set above the gaff of a lower sail on a fore-and-aft-rigged ship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sail or either of the two sails rigged just above the course sail and supported by the topmast on a square-rigged sailing ship.
  • n. In a fore-and-aft -rigged sailing boat, the sail that is set above the gaff at the top part of the mast.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In a square-rigged vessel, the sail next above the lowermost sail on a mast. This sail is the one most frequently reefed or furled in working the ship. In a fore-and-aft rigged vessel, the sail set upon and above the gaff. See cutter, schooner, sail, and ship.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, a square sail next above the lowest or chief sail of a mast. It is carried on a topsail-yard.
  • Same as topsails over (which see, under topsail, n.).

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

  • n. a sail (or either of a pair of sails) immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Her main topsail blew out suddenly and went streaming forth in the gale, a jib split to ribbons before their eyes, and spar after spar was carried away.

    The Windy Hill

  • We took in topsail and staysail, dropped the main peak, and as we got abreast of the principal wharf jibed the mainsail.

    Charley's Coup

  • We took in topsail and staysail, dropped the main-peak, and as we got abreast of the principal wharf jibed the mainsail.

    Charley's "Coup"

  • Her topsail was the only canvas she had set, and she was so low in the water that I could not see her deck amidships at that distance.

    Mr. Trunnell, Mate of the Ship "Pirate"

  • By saving money, by earning more, and by each of us foregoing a bicycle on his birthday, we had collected the purchase price of the Mist, a beamy twenty-eight-footer, sloop-rigged, with baby topsail and centerboard.

    To Repel Boarders

  • You know what it is to lay out on a topsail yard in the thick of it, bucking sleet and snow and frozen canvas till you're ready to just let go and cry like a baby.

    SIWASH

  • 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.

    CHAPTER XXI

  • And on one side, and one side only, the wall had fallen away till it was like the slope of the decks in a topsail breeze.

    An Odyssey of the North

  • The lower-topsail, its sheets parted by the fall of the crojack-yard, was tearing out of the bolt-ropes and ribboning away to leeward and making such an uproar that they might well expect its yard to carry away.

    CHAPTER XLVI

  • Immediately the lifts and lower-topsail sheets parted, and with a fore-and-aft pitch of the ship the spar up-ended and crashed to the deck upon Number Three hatch, destroying that section of the bridge in its fall.

    CHAPTER XLVI

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.