[ meyn-top-seyl; Nautical meyn-top-suhl ]

  1. a topsail set on the mainmast.

Origin of main-topsail

First recorded in 1610–20

Words Nearby main-topsail Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use main-topsail in a sentence

  • Captain Packenham was not a man to run away from either one or the other, so we backed our main-topsail, and lay-to for them.

    Hurricane Hurry | W.H.G. Kingston
  • The main-topgallantsail was let fly, the main-topsail brailed up so as to take the strain off the yard.

    The Missing Ship | W. H. G. Kingston
  • Fill the main-topsail,” cried I. “Up with your helm, my man, and let her gather way.

    The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" | Harry Collingwood
  • One awful morning in November, 1864, the vessel was hove-to under close-reefed main topsail.

    Windjammers and Sea Tramps | Walter Runciman
  • After the tackling was prepared and in good working order, it took me the greater part of a day to hoist the main topsail.

    The Coral Island | R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for maintopsail


/ (ˌmeɪnˈtɒpseɪl, nautical ˌmeɪnˈtɒpsəl) /

  1. nautical a topsail set on the mainmast

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