Nautical. any of various types of sailing vessel having a foremast and mainmast, with or without other masts, and having fore-and-aft sails on all lower masts.See also ketch, topsail schooner, yawl1(def 2).
a very tall glass, as for beer.

Origin of schooner

1705–15, Americanism; perhaps scoon, variant of dial. scun scud1 (compare dialectal Swedish skunna, Old English scyndan) + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for schooner

vessel, yacht, clipper, glass, ship, tern

Examples from the Web for schooner

Contemporary Examples of schooner

Historical Examples of schooner

  • Over his schooner of beer K. gathered something of the story.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • As he spoke there was a sudden soft jar and jerk, then the schooner was still.

  • The schooner ahead of us had to cut, and she shifted her berth outside of us.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • When we got back to the schooner, we found her lifting her anchors.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The schooner was wet, and the seas she shipped would put out my fire.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for schooner



a sailing vessel with at least two masts, with all lower sails rigged fore-and-aft, and with the main mast stepped aft
British a large glass for sherry
US, Canadian, Australian and NZ a large glass for beer

Word Origin for schooner

C18: origin uncertain
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

Word Origin and History for schooner

fore-and-aft rigged vessel, originally with only two masts, 1716, perhaps from a New England verb related to Scottish scon "to send over water, to skip stones." Skeat relates this dialectal verb to shunt. Spelling probably influenced by Dutch, but Dutch schoener is a loan-word from English, as are German Schoner, French schooner, Swedish skonert. Said to have originated in Gloucester, Mass., shipyard.

The rig characteristic of a schooner has been defined as consisting essentially of two gaff sails, the after sail not being smaller than the fore, and a head sail set on a bowsprit. [OED]

Meaning "tall beer glass" is from 1879, of unknown origin or connection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper