Definitions

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

  • adj. Able to sail close to the wind with little drift to leeward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. (of a sailing vessel) able to sail close to the wind with little leeway

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Working, or able to sail, close to the wind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Nautical, making very little leeway when close-hauled, even in a stiff breeze and heavy sea: noting a ship or boat.

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

  • adj. (of a sailing vessel) making very little leeway when close-hauled

Etymologies

weather (“direction from which the wind blows”) +‎ -ly (“characteristic of”) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The cat was weatherly, too, and he pushed it to extremes of weather and distance just for the thrill of it.

    SERPENT

  • Her motion was violent and, to the uninitiated, quite unpredictable, and she was hardly more weatherly than a raft, sagging off to leeward in a spineless fashion that boded ill for any prospect of working up to Plymouth while any easterly component prevailed in the wind.

    Hornblower And The Crisis

  • She was nothing like as weatherly and far slower; the brig would headreach and weather on her.

    Hornblower And The Crisis

  • If Hotspur had been the faster and the more weatherly of the two he could have maintained any distance he chose.

    Hornblower And The Hotspur

  • A gain of twenty or thirty yards, repeated often enough, and added to the steady gain resulting from being the more weatherly ship, would eventually close the gap.

    Hornblower And The Hotspur

  • They were the most weatherly ships and could afford the additional risk in order to be close up to Brest should a sudden shift of wind enable the French to get out.

    Hornblower And The Hotspur

  • They would increase her heel and render her by that much less weatherly.

    Hornblower And The Hotspur

  • She worked and steered well under canvas or steam alone, or under both combined; was dry and weatherly, but pitched heavily, and was rather deficient in stability.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 29, March, 1860

  • And if the worst came to the worst and they were caught out at sea, why, the boats were weatherly craft, manned by the best of seamen, and an hour or two at the most would see them fight their way back to port.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • She had a low, sharp bow and the old-fashioned turtle-back forward instead of the high, weatherly forecastle of the later destroyers, and in anything more than a moderate breeze or a little popple of a sea she was like a half-tide rock in a gale o 'wind.

    Stand By! Naval Sketches and Stories

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