Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[spin-uh-ker] /ˈspɪn ə kər/
noun, Nautical.
a large, usually triangular sail carried by a yacht as a headsail when running before the wind or when the wind is abaft the beam.
Origin of spinnaker
First recorded in 1865-70; said to be alteration of Sphinx, name of the first yacht making regular use of this sail Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for spinnaker
Historical Examples
  • His material must be conveyed across spinnaker Lake in some other way.

  • "There's plenty of room on spinnaker for both of us, I think," Parker replied, quietly.

  • I understand it all right, but when it comes to doing it, it comes out just like that spinnaker.

    Priscilla's Spies George A. Birmingham
  • The spinnaker must be the same size as the jibs in these races.

    Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
  • Such a spinnaker will be more effective than a big (p. 301) one on an ocean cruise.

    Yachting Vol. 1 Various.
  • If Charley has finished pumping, you might help him get out the spinnaker.

    Wyndham's Pal Harold Bindloss
  • "They are just getting the spinnaker on deck," said Jack, nodding toward the bows.

    Geoffrey Hampstead Thomas Stinson Jarvis
  • He had been springing about at a great rate that morning, shifting the spinnaker.

    Shadows of Flames Amelie Rives
  • With our spinnaker "set" we just skimmed homeward, reaching Warren in an hour.

  • Then we'll rig a foretopmast and a spinnaker boom on her, and bend a fisherman's staysail.

    Captain Scraggs Peter B. Kyne
British Dictionary definitions for spinnaker


/ˈspɪnəkə; nautical ˈspæŋkə/
a large light triangular racing sail set from the foremast of a yacht when running or on a broad reach
Word Origin
C19: probably from spin + (mo)niker, but traditionally derived from Sphinx, the yacht that first adopted this type of sail
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for spinnaker

"large triangular sail," 1866, either a derivative of spin in the sense of "go rapidly" or a corrupt pronunciation of Sphinx, which was the name of the first yacht known to carry this type of sail.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for spinnaker

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for spinnaker

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for spinnaker