Definition of mizzen in English:

Share this entry

mizzen

Pronunciation: /ˈmizən/
(also mizen)

noun

1 (also mizzenmast) The mast aft of a ship’s mainmast.
Example sentences
  • The crew had formed a circle on the deck around the mizzenmast and the captain, whose back was turned to her.
  • Also, the fore-and-aft sail on the mizzenmast, originally a triangular lateen sail, was changed to accommodate the more modern rig.
  • His square-rigged ship with the cross and bones flying from the mizzenmast was a feared sight in the eyes of captains of merchant barques.
2 (also mizzensail) The lowest sail on a mizzenmast.
Example sentences
  • A gust of wind hit them as the mizzensail was unfurled, followed by the mainsail and the foresail.
  • Sure, you need to be able to tell the contemporary equivalent of a fore topgallant from a mizzen topsail, but that's what all those seminars and lectures are for.
  • Bellerophon's main topmast had been shot away and her mizzen topmast was in a precarious state.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Italian mezzana 'mizzensail', feminine (used as a noun) of mezzano 'middle', from Latin medianus (see median).

Words that rhyme with mizzen

arisen, grison, imprison, prison, risen, uprisen

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: miz·zen

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.