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[fawr-stey, fohr-] /ˈfɔrˌsteɪ, ˈfoʊr-/
a stay leading aft and upward from the stem or knightheads of a vessel to the head of the fore lower mast; the lowermost stay of a foremast.
a stay leading aft and upwards toward the mainmast of a sloop, knockabout, cutter, ketch, yawl, or dandy.
Origin of forestay
1325-75; Middle English forstay. See fore-, stay3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for forestay
  • The foremast is set up with a forestay and two shrouds.
  • The jib is carried on the forestay, clubbed along its foot, and led out on the bowsprit.
  • She doesn't know the main sheet from the forestay, and what's more doesn't want to know.
British Dictionary definitions for forestay


(nautical) an adjustable stay leading from the truck of the foremast to the deck, stem, or bowsprit, for controlling the motion or bending of the mast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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