topsail

Part of speech: noun

A sail on the topmast.

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Usage examples "topsail":

  1. On the 29th of April the wind was S. S. E. and S. E. in the morning and forenoon, with a fresh topsail breeze; at daybreak they weighed anchor and set sail on courses between N. N. E. and N. N. W. over depths of 10, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 7, 8, 9 fathom, hard foul bottom; they estimated themselves to be at 3 miles' distance off the land. - "The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765", J. E. Heeres.
  2. Sometimes a reach of the river permits the sails to be braced full, and she bowls along merrily under way; anon a turn comes where she can only lie across, balanced as to headway by the main topsail aback. - "From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life", Captain A. T. Mahan.
  3. The cut of a topsail, the look of a mast- head, the set of a gaff- the smallest little thing was enough to place them, so well were they acquainted with one another. - "The Seiners", James B. (James Brendan) Connolly.