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[fawr-seyl, fohr-; Nautical fawr-suh l, fohr-] /ˈfɔrˌseɪl, ˈfoʊr-; Nautical ˈfɔr səl, ˈfoʊr-/
noun, Nautical.
the lowermost sail on a foremast.
the staysail or jib, set immediately forward of the mainmast of a sloop, cutter, knockabout, yawl, ketch, or dandy.
Origin of foresail
First recorded in 1475-85; fore- + sail Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for foresail
Historical Examples
  • The foresail was brailed, and the foot stopped, and the flying-jib was stowed.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The foresail and fore-topsail we managed to save, but all our light canvass went.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The fore-topsail had been mended as well as the foresail, and was set anew.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Captain Truck now ordered the foresail, which, by this time was ready, to be set.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • For instance, there is the jib halyard and the foresail halyard.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
  • Light as was the breeze, the vessel spread no canvas to it beyond that of her foresail.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • An' see that big one with a patch in her foresail an' a new jib?

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • Now, after all I've said, how'd you reef the foresail, Harve'?

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • "I would rather not stop any longer," I replied, running up the foresail.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • "We are all right now," said he, with a feeling of relief, as he took in the foresail.

    Little By Little William Taylor Adams
British Dictionary definitions for foresail


/ˈfɔːˌseɪl; nautical ˈfɔːsəl/
noun (nautical)
the aftermost headsail of a fore-and-aft rigged vessel
the lowest sail set on the foremast of a square-rigged vessel
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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