mainsail


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main·sail

 (mān′səl, -sāl′)
n.
1. The principal sail of a vessel.
2. A quadrilateral or triangular sail set from the after part of the mainmast on a fore-and-aft-rigged vessel.
3. A square sail set from the main yard on a square-rigged vessel. See Usage Note at boatswain.

mainsail

(ˈmeɪnˌseɪl; ˈmeɪnsəl)
n
(Nautical Terms) nautical the largest and lowermost sail on the mainmast

main•sail

(ˈmeɪnˌseɪl; Naut. -səl)

n.
the lowermost sail on a mainmast.
[1425–75]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mainsail - the lowermost sail on the mainmastmainsail - the lowermost sail on the mainmast  
main course - a square mainsail
sail, canvass, canvas, sheet - a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel
Translations

mainsail

[ˈmeɪnsl] Nvela f mayor

mainsail

[ˈmeɪnˌseɪl] nranda
References in classic literature ?
I put the Reindeer about on the other tack, ran up under the lee of a junk, shivered the mainsail into the wind and lost headway, and forged past the stern of the junk so slowly and so near that one of the patrolmen stepped lightly aboard.
But hardly had I begun, when the boom swung overhead, the mainsail filled with a jerk, and the Reindeer heeled over.
Again, while Captain Van Horn and the mate, Borckman, gave orders, and while the Arangi's mainsail and spanker began to rise up the masts, Jerry loosed all his heart of woe in what Bob told Derby on the beach was the "grandest vocal effort" he had ever heard from any dog, and that, except for being a bit thin, Caruso didn't have anything on Jerry.
But he was deflected by the crash of the mainsheet blocks on the stout deck- traveller, as the mainsail, emptied of the wind and feeling the wind on the other side, swung crazily across above him.
The enormous mainsail of a cutter, as she draws slowly past a point of land or the end of a jetty under your admiring gaze, invests her with an air of lofty and silent majesty.
We would outfit our grub and water in the morning, hoist the big mainsail (which was a bigger piece of canvas than any I had ever sailed under), and beat our way out the estuary on the first of the seabreeze and the last of the ebb.
Though the rest of her sails were gone, the jib, backed to windward, and the mainsail hauled down flat, were themselves holding, and holding her bow to the furious sea as well.
Two hours of terrible work followed, in which all hands of us--two hunters, three sailors, Wolf Larsen and I--reefed, first one and then the other, the jib and mainsail. Hove to under this short canvas, our decks were comparatively free of water, while the Ghost bobbed and ducked amongst the combers like a cork.
"Wait till our mainsail's bent, an' she walks home with all her salt wet.
Captain Dettmar, springing aft, lifted the coiled mainsail halyards from their pins and threw them, ready to run, on the deck.
“Why here the wind has been all day at the south, and now there’s a lull, as if the last blast was out of the bellows; and there’s a streak along the mountains, to the northard, that, just now, wasn’t wider than the bigness of your hand; and then the clouds drive afore it as you’d brail a mainsail, and the stars are heaving in sight, like so many lights and beacons, put there to warn us to pile on the wood; and, if so be that I’m a judge of weather, it’s getting to be time to build on a fire, or you'll have half of them there porter bottles, and them dimmyjohns of wine, in the locker here, breaking with the frost, afore the morning watch is called.”
Then I saw the Flibberty's mainsail hoisting, and heard the clank of her chain coming in, and I woke up.