- a small pole or spar crossing a fore-and-aft sail diagonally from the mast to the upper aftermost corner, serving to extend the sail.
Origin of sprit
Examples from the Web for sprits
She's a brigantine, and there are sprits'ls on both masts, and only one square sail on the foremast.Somehow Good
William de Morgan
A large Dutch coasting trader, fitted with two masts, and sails set with sprits.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
Qu dict excittus Marius dgns rbus, qus poste gessit, sprits concpit.Selections from Viri Romae
Charles Franois L'Homond
We also got out, and sent them the masts and regular sails of the boat, which was fitted to carry two sprits.Miles Wallingford
James Fenimore Cooper
Instead of booms, sprits were used; these were set up at the heels with tackles to the masts.The Migrations of an American Boat Type
Howard I. Chapelle
- nautical a light spar pivoted at the mast and crossing a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail diagonally to the peak
Word Origin and History for sprits
Old English spreot "pole," originally "a sprout, shoot, branch," from root of sprout. Cognate with Middle Dutch spriet, Middle Low German spryet, German spriet, North Frisian sprit.