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[skoo-ner] /ˈsku nər/
Nautical. any of various types of sailing vessel having a foremast and mainmast, with or without other masts, and having fore-and-aft sails on all lower masts.
See also ketch, topsail schooner, yawl1 (def 2).
a very tall glass, as for beer.
Origin of schooner
dialectal Swedish
1705-15, Americanism; perhaps scoon, variant of dial. scun scud1 (compare dialectal Swedish skunna, Old English scyndan) + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for schooner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I don't doubt it—I don't doubt it—Was there a schooner in company, sir?

  • Over his schooner of beer K. gathered something of the story.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • It was provoking, and a more uneasy set of men than that schooner's crew I never saw.

    Frank Before Vicksburg Harry Castlemon
  • The schooner was wet, and the seas she shipped would put out my fire.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Hussey informed him it was on board the schooner, and the swivel likewise.

  • When we got back to the schooner, we found her lifting her anchors.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Towards the end of the month of September the skeleton of the vessel, which was to be rigged as a schooner, lay in the dockyard.

    The Secret of the Island W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)
  • The water was now up to my breast, and I knew the schooner must go over.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • While they breakfasted they kept an eye on the schooner, watching her sides and flanks as the water fell slowly away.

British Dictionary definitions for schooner


a sailing vessel with at least two masts, with all lower sails rigged fore-and-aft, and with the main mast stepped aft
(Brit) a large glass for sherry
(US & Canadian, Austral & NZ) a large glass for beer
Word Origin
C18: origin uncertain
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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Word Origin and History for schooner

fore-and-aft rigged vessel, originally with only two masts, 1716, perhaps from a New England verb related to Scottish scon "to send over water, to skip stones." Skeat relates this dialectal verb to shunt. Spelling probably influenced by Dutch, but Dutch schoener is a loan-word from English, as are German Schoner, French schooner, Swedish skonert. Said to have originated in Gloucester, Mass., shipyard.

The rig characteristic of a schooner has been defined as consisting essentially of two gaff sails, the after sail not being smaller than the fore, and a head sail set on a bowsprit. [OED]
Meaning "tall beer glass" is from 1879, of unknown origin or connection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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