[hed-seyl; Nautical hed-suh l]
- any of various jibs or staysails set forward of the foremost mast of a vessel.
- any sail set on a foremast, especially on a vessel having three or more masts.
Origin of headsail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for headsail
First, the smallness of the yard to which the head of the gaff-topsail is laced; and secondly, the great size of the headsail.King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855
E. Keble Chatterton
John Paul himself taught me to tack and wear ship, and MacMuir to stow a headsail.Richard Carvel, Complete
The essentials of the schooner are two fore-and-aft sails and a headsail (jib), any other sails being incidental.Some Notes on Shipbuilding and Shipping in Colonial Virginia
Cerinda W. Evans
From for'ard came the jerking rattle of headsail halyards through the sheaves.A Son Of The Sun
The young skipper was determined to test the question, and, lashing the helm, he hoisted her headsail.Little Bobtail
- any sail set forward of the foremast
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