• synonyms


[sprit-seyl; Nautical sprit-suh l]
noun Nautical.
  1. a sail extended by a sprit.
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Origin of spritsail

1425–75; late Middle English sprete seyle (see sprit, sail); compare Dutch sprietzeil
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spritsail

Historical Examples of spritsail

  • When day broke they succeeded in wearing the ship with a remnant of the spritsail.

    The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson

    Robert Southey

  • Our only squaresail was a spritsail at the main-yard to serve as a mainsail.

    Hurricane Hurry

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • When the wind is aft, and not too strong, the Indian makes a spritsail of his blanket.

    The Maine Woods

    Henry David Thoreau

  • Immediately they loosed their spritsail, and wore her before the wind.

  • A spritsail (Fig. 449) or some other simple form can be used if desired.

    Woodworking for Beginners

    Charles Gardner Wheeler

British Dictionary definitions for spritsail


noun nautical
  1. a rectangular sail mounted on a sprit in some 19th-century small vessels
  2. (in medieval rigging) a square sail mounted on a yard on the bowsprit
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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