: the principal sail on the mainmast see sail illustration

Examples of mainsail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thanks to the hydraulics system, the mainsail can be hoisted and lowered on a wireless remote control. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 15 Mar. 2024 The electric motor, which usually lifts the mainsail into place, had malfunctioned. Adam Iscoe, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 The vessel is also equipped with a boom-less rig and sizable mainsail that pulls in even more power from the wind. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 22 Apr. 2022 In addition, the cat is equipped with twin 225 hp engines and a 1,722-square-foot mainsail that harnesses additional power from the wind for greater efficiency and fewer emissions. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 6 Dec. 2021 On a two-sail boat like this one (called a sloop), the emphasis is on the mainsail (B), the sail nearer the stern (H), which is the rearmost or aft part of the boat. Caleb Paine, Popular Mechanics, 30 Mar. 2021 At the tip of Shelter Island, several hundred dignitaries and well-wishers applauded when Sharon, dressed in pink and looking very dainty, hauled down the mainsail of her craft, furled it and docked with an ease no mail sailor could fault. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mainsail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mainsail was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near mainsail

Cite this Entry

“Mainsail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the principal sail on the mainmast
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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