square sail

noun Nautical.

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. 2019

Related Words for square sail


Examples from the Web for square sail

Historical Examples of square sail

  • Frequently resorted to for the staysails, square-sail yard, &c.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The bowsprit was crossed by a heavy spar, on which a square-sail was hoisted.

  • 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.

  • The term is applied to any fore-and-aft vessels setting a square-sail, flying, below the lower cross-trees.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for square sail

square sail


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