- a sail set beneath a horizontal yard, the normal position of which, when not trimmed to the wind, is directly athwartships.
Origin of square sail
First recorded in 1590–1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for square sail
Frequently resorted to for the staysails, square-sail yard, &c.
The bowsprit was crossed by a heavy spar, on which a square-sail was hoisted.Nooks and Corners of the New England Coast
Samuel Adams Drake
If it goes round a point more we will get the square-sail ready for hoisting.The Queen's Cup
G. A. Henty
When round, they came again upon even terms, as 'Livonia' had to luff and to lower her square-sail.Yachting Vol. 1
The term is applied to any fore-and-aft vessels setting a square-sail, flying, below the lower cross-trees.
- nautical a rectangular or square sail set on a horizontal yard rigged more or less athwartships
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