Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To remove (a mast) from a step.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To remove, as a mast, from its place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb (Naut.) To remove, as a mast, from its step.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To remove (the mast) from a sailing vessel.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

un- +‎ step

Examples

  • Too abrupt a change of tack wouldn't overset them — the outriggers prevented that — but it might crack or unstep the mast.

    Lord of the Isles

  • So low and so narrow was the passage that our heads were within a few inches of the huge slabs of stone of which its roof was formed; and the rowers had need to unstep the mast and then to lay their oars inboard, while they brought the barge through by pushing with their hands against the roof and sides.

    The Aztec Treasure-House

  • "You must look out sharp to shift the sheet when I tell you, and unstep the mast, if necessary, the very moment I say, mind!"

    Picked up at Sea The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek

  • "Now," he continued, "if we lower the sail and unstep the mast, we may remain here as long as we please, undetected."

    Two Gallant Sons of Devon A Tale of the Days of Queen Bess

  • And get this boat out of the way and unstep her mast!

    Three Dramas

  • It seemed cruelty to prolong the conversation, and soon after the order was given to lower the sail and unstep the mast, for the wind had pretty well dropped as they swept in towards where the vessels were anchored, and the distance being short, the men took to their oars once more, while, with no impediment to their view, the doctor took out his glass and offered it to Morny.

    The Ocean Cat's Paw The Story of a Strange Cruise

  • At length the branches extended so far across the passage that we were compelled to unstep the mast in order to pass under them.

    The Wanderers Adventures in the Wilds of Trinidad and Orinoco

  • This plan being agreed to, two hands were sent to unstep the flagstaff and bring it forward, while the rest of us dismantled our hut, and dragged the boat to the edge of the floe nearest the shore.

    Peter the Whaler

  • This done, I caused Simpson to unstep the gig's single mast and lay it fore and aft in the boat, with the heel resting upon and firmly lashed to the small grating which covered the after end of the boat between the backboard of the stern-sheets and the stern-post, while the head was supported by a crutch formed of two stretchers lashed together and placed upright upon the bow thwart, the whole being firmly secured in place by the two shrouds attached to the mast-head.

    A Middy in Command A Tale of the Slave Squadron

  • Now unstep the mast, lash that and the boom, the other sail, and its spar together; that is the way. "

    Condemned as a Nihilist A Story of Escape from Siberia

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