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sprit

[sprit] /sprɪt/
noun, Nautical
1.
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
900
before 900; Middle English spret, Old English sprēot; cognate with Dutch, German Spriet; akin to sprout
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sprits

sprit

/sprɪt/
noun
1.
(nautical) a light spar pivoted at the mast and crossing a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail diagonally to the peak
Word Origin
Old English spreot; related to Old High German spriuzen to support, Dutch spriet sprit, Norwegian sprӯta
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for sprits

sprit

n.

Old English spreot "pole," originally "a sprout, shoot, branch," from root of sprout. Cognate with Middle Dutch spriet, Middle Low German spryet, German spriet, North Frisian sprit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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8
9
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