• synonyms


[trahy-seyl; Nautical trahy-suh l]
noun Nautical.
  1. a triangular or quadrilateral sail having its luff hooped or otherwise bent to a mast, used for lying to or keeping a vessel headed into the wind; spencer.
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Origin of trysail

First recorded in 1760–70; try + sail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trysail

Historical Examples

  • A spar abaft the fore and main mast, for hoisting the trysail.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The trysail gaff had parted, and, falling, had struck the old pilot to the deck.

    Tales of the Sea

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • This failing, they set a spencer or trysail, and shift on the other tack.

  • If the owner does not carry a storm square-sail, he should have a boom to his trysail.

  • One end of which was secured by a bight of the trysail brailing.

British Dictionary definitions for trysail


  1. a small fore-and-aft sail, triangular or square, set on the mainmast of a sailing vessel in foul weather to help keep her head to the windAlso called: storm trysail
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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