Nautical. any of several horizontal lines fastened to the edge of a fore-and-aft sail or lateen sail, for gathering in the sail.
a leather binding for a hawk's wings, to prohibit flight.
verb (used with object)
to gather or haul in (a sail) by means of brails (usually followed by up ).
to transfer (fish) from a net to the hold of a ship.
to bind (the wings of a bird) in order to prevent it from flying.

1400–50; late Middle English, variant of brayell < Anglo-French braiel; Old French < Medieval Latin brācāle breechbelt, noun use of neuter of brācālis, equivalent to Latin brāc(ae) trousers (< Gaulish) + -ālis -al1

unbrailed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
brail (breɪl)
1.  one of several lines fastened to the leech of a fore-and-aft sail to aid in furling it
vb (sometimes foll by up)
2.  to furl (a fore-and-aft sail) using brails
[C15: from Old French braiel, from Medieval Latin brācāle belt for breeches, from Latin brāca breeches]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

small rope used on ships, mid-15c., from O.Fr. brail, earlier braiel "belt, leather thong," from L. bracale "waistbelt," from bracæ "breeches" (pl., see breeches).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Persons catching shrimp with cast nets or brail nets shall not remove the heads
  of shrimp on site.
Foot-rope shall be measured from brail line to brail line, first tie to last
  tie on the bottom line.
On seines, the name shall be located on either brail.
Several examples might be, for the visually impaired, one can have brail
  lettered terminals and input/output devices.
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