sail: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (sāl), [key]
— n.
  1. an area of canvas or other fabric extended to the wind in such a way as to transmit the force of the wind to an assemblage of spars and rigging mounted firmly on a hull, raft, iceboat, etc., so as to drive it along.
  2. some similar piece or apparatus, as the part of an arm that catches the wind on a windmill.
  3. a voyage or excursion, esp. in a sailing vessel: They went for a sail around the island.
  4. a sailing vessel or ship.
  5. sailing vessels collectively: The fleet numbered 30 sail.
  6. sails for a vessel or vessels collectively.
  7. (cap.)the constellation Vela.
  8. with the sails set.
  9. Make sail for the Leeward Islands.
    1. to set the sail or sails of a boat or increase the amount of sail already set.
    2. to set out on a voyage:Make sail for the Leeward Islands.
  10. to start a sea voyage:Nantucket. We set sail at midnight for
  11. to cut expenses; economize: We're going to have to trim our sails if we stay in business.
  12. with sails set; in motion; sailing: It was good to be under sail in the brisk wind and under the warm sun.
  1. to move along or travel over water: steamships sailing to Lisbon.
  2. to manage a sailboat, esp. for sport.
  3. to begin a journey by water: We are sailing at dawn.
  4. to move along in a manner suggestive of a sailing vessel: caravans sailing along.
  5. to move along in a stately, effortless way: to sail into a room.
  1. to sail upon, over, or through: to sail the seven seas.
  2. to navigate (a vessel).
  3. He would sail into his staff when work was going badly.
    1. to go vigorously into action; begin to act; attack.
    2. to attack verbally:He would sail into his staff when work was going badly.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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