sprits

sprit

[sprit]
noun Nautical.
a small pole or spar crossing a fore-and-aft sail diagonally from the mast to the upper aftermost corner, serving to extend the sail.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English spret, Old English sprēot; cognate with Dutch, German Spriet; akin to sprout

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World English Dictionary
sprit (sprɪt)
 
n
nautical a light spar pivoted at the mast and crossing a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail diagonally to the peak
 
[Old English spreot; related to Old High German spriuzen to support, Dutch spriet sprit, Norwegian sprӯta]

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

sprit
O.E. spreot "pole," originally "a sprout, shoot, branch," from root of sprout. Cognate with M.Du. spriet, M.L.G. spryet, Ger. spriet, N.Fris. sprit.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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