Definition of topsail in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtɒpseɪl/


1A sail set on a ship’s topmast.
Example sentences
  • The engines were steaming full speed astern, and by hoisting the topsail, the ship shot past it in safety.
  • The topsails of the ship in the distance could be seen.
  • Other ships on the high-seas in the late 1700's and up to the end of the 1800's were the sloop, a single masted ship that could carry a mainsail, topsail and foresail.
1.1A fore-and-aft sail set above the gaff.
Example sentences
  • A mizzen mast, near the stern carried a fore and aft sail; another sail was spread below the bowsprit, and smaller topsails were set above the mainsail and foresail.
  • There was also the Cutter, also single masted but she had a Gaff Mainsail, square topsail and Foresail.
  • Her bowsprit carries two foresails, and her large mainsail is gaff rigged, with an upside-down triangle of topsail to fill the gap at the masthead.
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