Sail definition

sāl
(nautical) A sailing vessel.
noun
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(nautical) A trip or voyage in a sailing craft.
noun
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To move upon or travel by water.
verb
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To begin a trip by water.
verb
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To glide, float, or move steadily through the air.
verb
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Sails collectively.
noun
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To manage a sailboat, as in racing or cruising.
verb
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Any of the shaped sheets of canvas or other strong material spread to catch or deflect the wind, by means of which some vessels and some land vehicles are driven forward.
noun
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A sailing vessel or vessels.
noun
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To move smoothly and with dignity, like a ship in full sail.
verb
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(informal) To move or proceed quickly.
verb
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(informal) To begin vigorously; throw oneself (into) with energy.
verb
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To move through or upon (a body of water) in a boat or ship.
verb
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To manage or navigate (a boat or ship)
verb
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To throw or otherwise propel (something) in a way that causes it to glide, float, or move steadily through the air.
verb
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To move along or progress smoothly or effortlessly.

Sailed into the room five minutes late; sailed through the exam; sailed through the red light.

verb
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To move along through the air.

The ball sailed into the stands.

verb
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A trip in a ship or boat, esp. one moved by sails.
noun
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Anything like a sail, as an arm of a windmill.
noun
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The definition of a sail is a strong sheet of fabric attached to a boat used to catch and use wind to move the boat forward in water.

An example of a sail is how Christopher Columbus' ship moved through the ocean.

noun
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Sail is defined as to move, float or glide smoothly through water or air, or to move quickly.

An example of sail is a bird gliding on a headwind in the sky.

An example of sail is to finish a three hour task in one hour.

verb
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Something, such as the blade of a windmill, that resembles a sail in form or function.
noun
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A piece of fabric sewn together and fitted to the spars and rigging of a vessel so as to convert the force of the wind into forward motion of the vessel.
noun
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The sails of a ship or boat.
noun
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A narrow fairwater supporting the bridge of a submarine.
noun
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To travel by water in a vessel.
verb
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To start out on such a voyage or journey.

Tomorrow we sail for the islands.

verb
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To operate a sailing craft, especially for sport.
verb
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To navigate or manage (a vessel).
verb
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To voyage upon or across.

Sail the Pacific.

verb
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(informal) To attack, criticize, or reprimand someone severely: with into.
verb
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To be moved forward by means of a sail or sails.
verb
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To be moved forward on water by mechanical means such as a propeller.
verb
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(nautical) A piece of fabric attached to a boat and arranged such that it causes the wind to drive the boat along. The sail may be attached to the boat via a combination of mast, spars and ropes.
noun
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(uncountable) The power harnessed by a sail or sails, or the use this power for travel or transport.
noun
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A trip in a boat, especially a sailboat.

Let's go for a sail.

noun
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(dated) A sailing vessel; a vessel of any kind; a craft. Plural sail.

Twenty sail were in sight.

noun
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The blade of a windmill.
noun
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A tower-like structure found on the dorsal (topside) surface of submarines.
noun
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The floating organ of siphonophores, such as the Portuguese man-of-war.
noun
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(fishing) A sailfish.

We caught three sails today.

noun
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(paleontology) An outward projection of the spine, occurring in certain dinosaurs and synapsids.
noun
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Anything resembling a sail, such as a wing.
noun
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See also sail.
hyponyms
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To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water; to be impelled on a body of water by steam or other power.
verb
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To move through or on the water; to swim, as a fish or a waterfowl.
verb
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To ride in a boat, especially a sailboat.
verb
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To set sail; to begin a voyage.

We sail for Australia tomorrow.

verb
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To move briskly and gracefully through the air.
verb
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To move briskly.
verb
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To move across the surface of water, especially by means of a sailing vessel.
verb
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under sail
  • With the sails up; sailing.
idiom
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make sail
idiom
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sail against the wind
  • to sail a course that slants slightly away from the true direction of the wind; sail closehauled
  • to work under difficulties or against direct opposition
idiom
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sail close to the wind
  • to sail as nearly as possible straight against the wind
  • to be economical in one's affairs
  • to border on indecency, foolhardiness, etc.
idiom
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set sail
  • to hoist the sails in preparation for departure
  • to start out on a voyage by water
idiom
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take in sail
  • to lower sails, as in order to reduce the area of sail set
idiom
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under sail
  • sailing; with sails set
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
sail
Plural:
sails

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of sail

  • Middle English seil from Old English segl Sail into from obsolete sail to attack from Middle English sailen short for assailen assail

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old English seġel, from Proto-Germanic *seglą (compare earlier Middle Low German segel and later Low German sail), cognate with Dutch zeil, German Segel, Danish sejl), from pre-Germanic/Celtic sek-lo (compare Welsh hwyl, Irish séol), from Proto-Indo-European *sek- 'to cut'. More at saw.

    From Wiktionary

  • Old English seġlian, cognate to earlier Middle Low German segelen and its descendant Low German sailen.

    From Wiktionary