[ 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
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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 for spinnaker

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