mainmast

noun
main·​mast | \ ˈmān-ˌmast How to pronounce mainmast (audio) , -məst \

Definition of mainmast

: a sailing ship's principal mast

Examples of mainmast in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Minutes later, the English ship — the Fancy, under the command of the notorious pirate captain Henry Every — had closed on the Mughal vessel and shattered its 40-foot mainmast with a single, fluke cannon shot. Adam Higginbotham, New York Times, "The Pirates’ Booty That Changed the Course of History," 12 May 2020 Resting on deck, leaning against the mainmast, was a small wooden boat for ferrying crew members to and from the larger ship. William J. Broad, New York Times, "A Shipwreck, 500 Years Old, Appears on the Baltic Seabed," 22 July 2019 In 1866, a special insignia—a square blue flag with a white foul anchor in the center and four white stars at each corner—was designed to fly from the mainmast of a vessel whenever the Secretary of the Navy was aboard. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "There's a Reason Behind Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Special Flag Ritual," 13 Oct. 2017 For instance, Luebke adds, the President's flag has historically flown at the mainmast while a different flag for the Vice President is flown at the slightly shorter foremast. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "There's a Reason Behind Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Special Flag Ritual," 13 Oct. 2017 The whalemen spend several days cleaning the ship and themselves, from the bilges to the top of the mainmast. Longreads, "A High-End Mover Dishes on Truckstop Hierarchy, Rich People, and Moby Dick," 21 Sep. 2017 The mainsail boom, itself a tree trunk almost as thick as the 12-story-high mainmast, is a varnished work of art as sun glints off the wood’s whorls and knots. Brian J. Cantwell, The Seattle Times, "Taste some ales while you take a sail on classic schooner Zodiac on Bellingham Bay," 19 July 2017 The location of the Titanic is no longer a secret, and Ballard said submarines have bumped into it and landed on it, destroying its mainmast and damaging large areas of the deck. Randy Alfred, WIRED, "Sept. 2, 1985: Hey, Everyone, We Found the Titanic," 2 Sep. 2008

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mainmast.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mainmast

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of mainmast was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Mainmast.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mainmast. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for mainmast

mainmast

noun
main·​mast | \ ˈmān-ˌmast How to pronounce mainmast (audio) , -məst \

Kids Definition of mainmast

: the principal mast of a sailing ship

More from Merriam-Webster on mainmast

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mainmast

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