[stey-seyl; Nautical stey-suh l]

noun Nautical.

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

Origin of staysail

First recorded in 1660–70; stay3 + sail Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for staysail

Historical Examples of staysail

  • She was well rigged, too, having a staysail and gafftopsail.

    Swept Out to Sea

    W. Bertram Foster

  • Hoist away the jib and staysail; fore-sheets over to starboard.

    Under the Meteor Flag

    Harry Collingwood

  • Man the jib and staysail downhauls, let go the halliards, haul down.

    The Rover's Secret

    Harry Collingwood

  • It was fortunate that we got the staysail hoisted for us, or we could have made nothing of it.

    Poor Jack

    Frederick Marryat

  • They set that, cast two jibs and the staysail loose, and let them lie.

British Dictionary definitions for staysail



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