noun Nautical.
a large, usually triangular sail carried by a yacht as a headsail when running before the wind or when the wind is abaft the beam.

1865–70; said to be alteration of Sphinx, name of the first yacht making regular use of this sail

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World English Dictionary
spinnaker (ˈspɪnəkə, nautical ˈspæŋkə)
a large light triangular racing sail set from the foremast of a yacht when running or on a broad reach
[C19: probably from spin + (mo)niker, but traditionally derived from Sphinx, the yacht that first adopted this type of sail]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"large triangular sail," 1866, either a derivative of spin in the sense of "go rapidly" or a corrupt pronunciation of Sphinx, which was the name of the first yacht known to carry this type of sail.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Today keelhauling can refer to the spinnaker sheets getting stuck under the hull after dowsing the sail.
He went out on a windy day with no life preserver, and he and his friend-both expert sailors-raised the spinnaker.
Images for spinnaker
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