[ sprit-seyl; Nautical sprit-suhl ]

  1. a sail extended by a sprit.

Origin of spritsail

1425–75; late Middle English sprete seyle (see sprit, sail); compare Dutch sprietzeil

Words Nearby spritsail

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use spritsail in a sentence

  • Hell want a bigger kerchief than a spritsail now, Ill be bound.

  • The spritsail filled with the wind, suddenly, careening the frail open craft till it seemed it would surely capsize.

    The Sea-Wolf | Jack London
  • The spritsail flapped emptily and the boat righted to an even keel, causing the two men swiftly to change position.

    The Sea-Wolf | Jack London
  • Early in the morning I had noticed a tiny outrigger canoe, with an impossible spritsail, skimming the surface of the lagoon.

  • The people rushed from the guns, and crowded out upon the bowsprit, the spritsail-yard, and the knightheads.

British Dictionary definitions for spritsail


/ (ˈsprɪtˌseɪl, nautical ˈsprɪtsəl) /

  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

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