I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English segl; akin to Old High German segal sail Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) an extent of fabric (as canvas) by means of which wind is used to propel a ship through water (2) the sails of a ship b. plural usually sail a ship equipped with sails 2. an extent of fabric used in propelling a wind-driven vehicle (as an iceboat) 3. something that resembles a sail; especially a streamlined conning tower on a submarine 4. a passage by a sailing craft ; cruisesailed adjective II. verb Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. a. to travel on water in a ship b. yacht 2. a. to travel on water by the action of wind upon sails or by other means b. to move or proceed easily, gracefully, nonchalantly, or without resistance <
sails through all sorts of contradictions — Vicki Hearne
the bill sailed through the legislature
c. to move through the air <
the ball sailed over his head
3. to begin a water voyage <
sail with the tide
transitive verb 1. a. to travel on (water) by means of motive power (as sail) b. to glide through 2. to direct or manage the motion of (as a ship) • sailable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sail — Sail, n. [OE. seil, AS. segel, segl; akin to D. zeil, OHG. segal, G. & Sw. segel, Icel. segl, Dan. seil. [root] 153.] 1. An extent of canvas or other fabric by means of which the wind is made serviceable as a power for propelling vessels through… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sail — [sāl] n. [ME seil, sail < OE segl, akin to Ger segel, prob. ult. < IE base * sek , to cut > L secare, to cut, segmentum, segment] 1. any of the shaped sheets of canvas or other strong material spread to catch or deflect the wind, by… …   English World dictionary

  • sail — ► NOUN 1) a piece of material extended on a mast to catch the wind and propel a boat or ship. 2) a wind catching apparatus attached to the arm of a windmill. 3) a voyage or excursion in a sailing boat or ship. ► VERB 1) travel in a sailing boat… …   English terms dictionary

  • Sail — Sail, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Sailed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Sailing}.] [AS. segelian, seglian. See {Sail}, n.] 1. To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water; to be impelled on a body of water by the action of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sail — Sail, v. t. 1. To pass or move upon, as in a ship, by means of sails; hence, to move or journey upon (the water) by means of steam or other force. [1913 Webster] A thousand ships were manned to sail the sea. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To fly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sail — [v] travel through water, air; glide boat, captain, cast anchor, cast off, cross, cruise, dart, drift, embark, flit, float, fly, get under way*, leave, make headway, motor, move, navigate, pilot, put to sea*, reach, run, scud, set sail, shoot,… …   New thesaurus

  • sail — |a í| s. m. Óleo de peixe.   ‣ Etimologia: alteração de saim …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • sail — vb float, skim, scud, shoot, dart, *fly …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sail — sail, to put to sea; to begin a voyage To get ship under way in complete readiness for voyage, with purpose of proceeding without further delay …   Black's law dictionary

  • Sail — A sail is any type of surface intended to generate thrust by being placed in a wind mdash;in essence a vertically oriented wing. Sails are used in sailing.History of sailsThe ships built at around 10,000 BC were just crude log rafts or dug out… …   Wikipedia

  • sail — I n. 1) to hoist, raise the sails; to make sail 2) to let out the sails 3) to furl, take in a sail; to reduce; slacken sail 4) to trim ( adjust ) the sails 5) to lower, strike the sails 6) (misc.) to set sail for ( to leave for by ship, boat );… …   Combinatory dictionary

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