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brail

[breyl] /breɪl/
noun
1.
Nautical. any of several horizontal lines fastened to the edge of a fore-and-aft sail or lateen sail, for gathering in the sail.
2.
a leather binding for a hawk's wings, to prohibit flight.
verb (used with object)
3.
Nautical.
  1. to gather or haul in (a sail) by means of brails (usually followed by up).
  2. to transfer (fish) from a net to the hold of a ship.
4.
to bind (the wings of a bird) in order to prevent it from flying.
Origin of brail
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English, variant of brayell < Anglo-French braiel; Old French < Medieval Latin brācāle breechbelt, noun use of neuter of brācālis, equivalent to Latin brāc(ae) trousers (< Gaulish) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
unbrailed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for brailing
Historical Examples
  • The act of brailing up and furling sails at sea; generally used in opposition to setting.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for brailing

brail

/breɪl/
noun
1.
one of several lines fastened to the leech of a fore-and-aft sail to aid in furling it
verb
2.
(transitive) sometimes foll by up. to furl (a fore-and-aft sail) using brails
Word Origin
C15: from Old French braiel, from Medieval Latin brācāle belt for breeches, from Latin brāca breeches
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brailing

brail

n.

small rope used on ships, mid-15c., from Old French brail, earlier braiel "belt, leather thong," from Latin bracale "waistbelt," from bracæ "breeches" (plural, see breeches).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for brailing

11
15
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