[ stey-seyl; Nautical stey-suhl ]

  1. any sail set on a stay, as a triangular sail between two masts.

Origin of staysail

First recorded in 1660–70; stay3 + sail

Words Nearby staysail Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use staysail in a sentence

  • The 'Satanita,' however, had just before drove on to the outer flagboat and she was then kept lying with staysail to windward.

    Yachting Vol. 2 | Various.
  • I sprang to the helm and put it up, while Grampus hoisted the fore-staysail just a foot or so above the deck.

    Hurricane Hurry | W.H.G. Kingston
  • When the fore-topmast staysail and jib were to be set, somebody had fouled the down-hauls, so that they could not be hoisted.

    Down the Rhine | Oliver Optic
  • Mr Forbes, get the starboard fore-topmast staysail sheets aft and well belayed, if you please.

    The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" | Harry Collingwood
  • The scavengers were sweeping down, and part of the after guard was bending a new bolt-rope on a storm staysail.

    Richard Carvel, Complete | Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for staysail


/ (ˈsteɪˌseɪl, ˈsteɪsəl) nautical /

  1. an auxiliary sail, often triangular, set to catch the wind, as between the masts of a yawl (mizzen staysail), aft of a spinnaker (spinnaker staysail), etc

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