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square sail

noun, Nautical
a sail set beneath a horizontal yard, the normal position of which, when not trimmed to the wind, is directly athwartships.
Origin of square sail
1590-1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for square-sail
Historical Examples
  • Half an hour later the wind had gone round far enough for the square-sail to be used to advantage, and it was accordingly hoisted.

    The Queen's Cup G. A. Henty
  • Frequently resorted to for the staysails, square-sail yard, &c.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The chap who cut away the square-sail halyards, I felt certain was no Spaniard.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • If it goes round a point more we will get the square-sail ready for hoisting.

    The Queen's Cup G. A. Henty
  • The bowsprit was crossed by a heavy spar, on which a square-sail was hoisted.

  • When round, they came again upon even terms, as 'Livonia' had to luff and to lower her square-sail.

    Yachting Vol. 1 Various.
  • We hoisted our square-sail and wet our other sails, but the schooner gained upon us rapidly.

    Jack in the Forecastle John Sherburne Sleeper
  • The term is applied to any fore-and-aft vessels setting a square-sail, flying, below the lower cross-trees.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • A boom hooked on to an eye-bolt in the fore-part of the fore-mast of a fore-and-aft vessel, to boom out the square-sail.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Is full schooner-rigged, but carries a square-topsail on the fore-mast; the fore-sail not bent, but set as a square-sail.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for square-sail

square sail

(nautical) a rectangular or square sail set on a horizontal yard rigged more or less athwartships
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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