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topgallant sail

noun, Nautical.
a sail or either of two sails set on the yard or yards of a topgallant mast.
Also called topgallant.
Origin of topgallant sail
First recorded in 1580-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for topgallant
Historical Examples
  • One after another the topgallant sails were double-reefed, close-reefed, and at last furled.

    Overland John William De Forest
  • Let go the topgallant and topsail halliards, and clew up and furl the sails.

    The Rover's Secret Harry Collingwood
  • There was a similar raised place forward, called the topgallant forecastle.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • Hand royals and topgallant sails,” he sang out; “be smart, my lads.

    Twice Lost W.H.G. Kingston
  • With topgallant sails sheeted home, the Niagara bore down upon the Detroit, driven by a freshening breeze.

  • First her topgallant sails, then her topsails, rose out of the water.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
  • The topgallant royal is a small spar which is often a continuation of the topgallant mast, and is fixed.

  • You see, I have taken the topgallant sails off the brig, so as not to be seen.

    Held Fast For England G. A. Henty
  • In small men-of-war no cabins are placed under the poop, nor are they ever under the topgallant forecastle.

  • We were within two miles of her when she up courses and took in her topgallant sails.

    Peter Simple Frederick Marryat
British Dictionary definitions for topgallant


/ˌtɒpˈɡælənt; nautical təˈɡælənt/
Also called topgallant mast. a mast on a square-rigger above a topmast or an extension of a topmast
Also called topgallant sail. a sail set on a yard of a topgallant mast
(modifier) of or relating to a topgallant
Word Origin
C16: from top1 + gallant
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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