Spinnaker meaning

spĭnə-kər
Frequency:
A large triangular headsail secured only at the corners, used on sailboats when running before the wind.
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A large, triangular, baggy headsail set on a boom, used on some racing yachts when running before the wind.
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(nautical) A supplemental sail to the main sail, especially a triangular one, used on yachts for running before the wind.
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Origin of spinnaker

  • Perhaps ultimately from Sphinx name of the first yacht to use such a sail or spin to move rapidly (variant of Scots spene to run before the wind spindrift)

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