- Also called fore-and-aft topsail. a jib-headed fore-and-aft sail set above a gaff.
- a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail set above the spanker of a bark, between the gaff of the spanker and an upper gaff.
Origin of gaff topsail
First recorded in 1785–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gaff-topsail
She carries a fore-and-aft main-sail, gaff-topsail, stay-foresail, and jib.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
I wanted to take in the gaff-topsail also, but Bob would not hear of such a thing.For Treasure Bound
In the meantime the crew had come aft to take in the mainsail and gaff-topsail.Hurricane Hurry
What a head to the gaff-topsail, as long as that of the mainsail itself!The Cruise of the Frolic
And raising me in his arms he laid me on the folds of the gaff-topsail, which lay upon the deck near the tiller.The Coral Island
- a sail set above a gaffsail
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